Pemberton & Associates, inc. DBA


26th Feb 2018

Should Swim Barbells be used to teach children to swim?

Again Swim Schools are divided about using any kind of flotation device when teaching children to swim. The cheap floating noodles are used by some to help support, while others refuse to use any aids at all. Who do you agree with?

Cons: Children get a mental picture of themselves in the water and many flotation devices like life jackets are designed to keep children way out of the water. If they develop the instinct to have their head high above the water, four or five inches all the time, they will not be comfortable taking a breath with their face in the water. Therefore, causing children to get comfortable with bad, hard to break habits. Barbells, in particular, might be rough on a child's arm. Even properly placed in the under arm, it may still chap them or discourage them from the water all together. We had a child in class who swam when he was 3-5 yrs old in the ocean. His family lived near the coast, so he swam everyday in a life jacket, he was vertical. His head was high out of the water. The family moved to an area where water was not as available for swimming, and after a few years of not swimming, he came to take swimming lessons. As he tried to take a breath, he had to lift his head. He was even trying to lift his head before he would even begin to get a breath, about twenty inches above the water. He would pull his head way up, real high, rather than just keep down real close to the water. It took many, many lessons to get him comfortable so he could get a breath. All of us agree, a children needs to learn to take their breath with their chin in the water, their face close to the water. Teaching them to blow bubbles underwater, come up and get a breath. If a child fell into the water, accustomed to the vertical position of a life jacket, it would be hard for them to get a breath, unless they could pull themselves far enough out of the water, which would be impossible. Thinking in survival mode, children must be taught the proper horizontal position for swimming from the beginning.

Pros: If a child could use a flotation device to promote good swimming practices, wouldn't it be worth using swim aids to teach children? Swim barbells will maintain the desired horizontal position that is desired by instructors, if they are placed properly in the under arm. That being said, wouldn't that provide stability in the water for children 9 months to 4 years old, as they begin to gain independence? One would think, children might love jumping into the water, swimming to a barbell and maybe even racing with them. However, there would still be a couple challenges to overcome, right? Now if the barbell was scientifically designed for proper body position, keeping the body and chin close to the water and providing the correct amount of lift, wouldn't swim schools want to utilize them? So only one more argument to be addressed, the rough hard bar. Specially designed Soft Foam Padded Bar for comfort and easy grip are standard equipment on the Adventure Swim Barbells. Adventure Swim Barbells are scientifically designed for proper body position, keeping body and chin close to the the water. and just the right amount of lift.