Kids swimming in triathlons: everything you need to know

Your child has signed up for a triathlon, but you’re concerned about safety in the pool because it’s a hectic circumstance and the kids all have varying abilities. Is it safe? You bet it is.

Taking part in a kid’s triathlon is a brilliant way for your kids to have fun while being fit and active with friends. Regardless of their skill level, participating in a group event can be very rewarding for children and build their confidence.
Many parents of children who participate in such events feel confident about the run and cycle components because they are on dry ground. But the swim leg can bring a little trepidation on a fun-filled day. 
Whatever your child’s swim abilities may be, water activities can seem like they carry an element of danger not present on land. As a parent, not being able to keep a close eye on your child while they participate in this leg may cause a little worry.
Events like the Sanitarium Weet-Bix Kids TRYathlon or KidFit triathlon are usually held in a local pool, and often where a child can still touch the bottom of the pool. If it’s an open water swim, it’s usually in a calm bay in a secured area. Usually, they can focus on having a good time and doing their best, knowing they can put their feet down and walk in the water if they need to. There are also lifeguards with keen eyes watching at all times, ready to assist if anyone requires a little helping hand.
“Safety, supervision and help in the water is paramount at Weet-Bix Kids TRYathlon events,” says Sanitarium’s Community Engagement Manager, David Martin. “So participation in Weet-Bix Kids TRYathlon is not as scary for new solo swimmers because we help them finish on their own, knowing they have help if needed to keep moving along at their chosen pace.”
kids swimming in a triathlon
Event organisers take the participants safety very seriously, and they also want everyone to have a good time. The name of the game is to have fun, so safety measures are set up to make sure all the parents and kids need to worry about is having a good race.
“There are swim safety regulations and our operations team takes all this into account in risk assessments and provision of services. We engage lifeguards and ensure there are floatation devices and focused observation throughout the swim.
“Our message is solid and backed up by our clean swim safety record over 19 years. You can safely trust us to look after your child. Safety is number one. The child can then focus on what they are setting out to do - get through the swim course at their own pace confident in the supervision and safety provision that surrounds them,” assures David. 
Another area that can cause nerves for children - and the parents who are cheering them on - is transitioning from one activity to another. The swim leg is the first leg, after which participants leap from the water, go to the Transition Zone, and get their shoes and clothes on and jump on the bike for the cycle component of the event. 
While not daunting in and of itself, when the pressure is on and the excitement of getting to the next stage is peaking, suddenly fingers can turn to thumbs and shoes on sticky wet feet can be overwhelming. 
Take some time to practice transitioning so everyone knows what to expect and things seem less frantic on the event day. You might even like to practice asking for help or taking three deep breaths so if they do get overwhelmed, they’ll be able to get back on track.

On the big day, there will be many different sized and aged kids, with varied abilities all swimming, cycling and running their little hearts out. The atmosphere will be electric and excitement will be high. Whilst safety is paramount, the second most important thing is having fun and savouring the little moments you have together as a family in the lead up and on the day.

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