With the summer sun making a comeback across the UK, parents and their little ones may be headed to the seaside to enjoy the ocean and have some fun in the nice weather. Not all children are as confident as others when it comes to jumping in the water, however. With that in mind, we got Bondi Rescue star and Australian lifeguard Trent "Maxi" Maxwell to give those of you at home struggling to encourage your children into the water, some top tips on ensuring their confidence can be built.

Encourage your kids into the water!

Encourage your kids into the water!

Wave watching

When you get to the beach stand and watch the water for at least 5 minutes, watch the surf and a few sets of waves roll in, and avoid where the waves are not breaking as it could be a dangerous rip current.

Don’t dive without dipping

Always check the depth of water before diving in, you will need at least eight feet of water in and around the area you dive. The only way to judge the depth is to get in, swim around, and see if you can see or feel the bottom.

Flag the safe spots

Make sure children know to always swim between the red and yellow flags on beaches with lifeguards and surf lifesavers.

Knowledge is power

If a child is not overly confident, look for the beach signs at the entrance to the beach which will give them lots of information. You can make reading it fun so they remember the key points.

Take your time

Don’t ever pressure children to go straight into the water. Take your time and wait until they’re ready. And if they don’t feel ready, that’s okay too.

Positivity is key

Let them warm up and get familiar with their surroundings first, be encouraging and positive.

Set the pace

Let them acclimatise and get used to the water so it isn’t a shock when they jump in, especially if the water is cold.

Learn a life skill

Depending on their age, it’s always a good idea to take children to a pool for a few swimming lessons, this will increase their confidence in the water.

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n partnership with Tourism Australia, Maxi toured the UK to mark the close of the RLSS Be a Rookie Lifeguard campaign, sharing his lifesaving skills with the UK. For more information, and to sign up for one of the 490 Rookie Lifeguard courses which run in 453 locations across the UK, visit rlss.org.uk


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