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Safe Entries Into Water

Considering various safe entries into water are important when learning how to swim. Entering the swimming pool can be either hugely daunting or very exciting for the non swimmer.  Either way, it must be done in a safe and appropriate way.

Before entering any swimming pool it is important to establish which end of the pool is the deep end and which is the shallow end.  Most pools have appropriate signs up that clearly show which end it which.  Most will also state the depth of the water at that end.

If you are unable to establish the water depth at your chosen point of entry, then ask the lifeguard on duty.  Some swimming pools have no deep or shallow end, but instead are the same depth throughout.

For a detailed look at all aspects of learning to swim, including entering the pool, download The Complete Guide To Simple Swimming

The Most Common Safe Entries Into Water

Those new to swimming and learning how to swim should consider the following methods of entering the pool:

  • using the poolside steps
  • the sitting swivel entry
  • jumping entry


Stepping in Using the Poolside Steps

This is the best entry for the nervous non-swimmer.  Check the depth of the water first to ensure you can stand on the pool floor once you have fully entered the water.  Enter by holding on to the rails with both hands and stepping down one step at a time.  

This is a safe and gradual entry that allows you to take your time.  

Some pools have steps into the pool underwater that start at deck level.  These are the safest and easiest entry points as they allow a slow and gradual entry.

The Sitting Swivel Entry

This entry works best on deck-level swimming pools. Once again ensure the water depth is shallow enough to be able to stand on the pool floor before entering.

From a sitting position, with legs in the water, place both hands to one side and then turn your back to the water. Then lower yourself gradually into the water, keeping hold of the poolside at all times.

Jumping Entry

A jumping entry into the swimming pool is usually appropriate for the confident swimmer.  Non swimmers and those with a fear of swimming in deep water are unlikely to be confident enough to jump into the water unaided.

Confident non-swimmers might jump into the pool, but should do so wearing appropriate buoyancy aids.

Before using a jumping entry, the swimmer should consider the depth of the water compared to their own height.

Start with toes over the edge of the poolside, jump away from the poolside and bend the knees on landing. 

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