My family and I love to go on vacations and quick trips around and outside the country. Wherever we’re staying, there’s bound to be a pool or a beach nearby. Like any other parent, I’d love for my kids to have fun and enjoy quick dips in the pool or the sea. But, while I enjoy watching my kids being kids, there’s a fear at the back of my head about drowning and other accidents that could happen in the water.
One of the best things you can invest in is swimming lessons for children. These lessons can help give you peace of mind while enabling your child to acquire a new set of practical and life-saving skills.
Child Drowning: A National Tragedy
According to the CDC, drowning is considered one of the causes of unintentional death in younger children between 1 to 4 years old. Children this young are the most susceptible to drowning, followed by children between 5 to 9 years old, as reported by the World Health Organization.
Meanwhile, according to the American Red Cross, in the U.S. alone, an average of 10 people die each day from drowning, with 2 out of 20 being children under 14 years old.
These alarming numbers should encourage parents to take proactive measures to ensure their kids’ safety with survival swim lessons.
Why Do We Need Swimming Lessons for Kids?
Swimming Lessons for Children’s Safety
Swimming lessons for children teach them about water safety in and around any body of water. It also teaches them essential life-saving swimming skills that can make all the difference.
Swimming Gives Their Health a Boost
Swimming can be considered a life skill. When a child first learns how to swim, it’s seen as a significant milestone, similar to when they first learn how to ride a bike. It can give their confidence and self-esteem a boost, and it helps them develop muscular control, concentration, and adaptability. These are valuable skills that they could use even when they’re not swimming.
It Teaches Them a Necessary Skill
Swimming can be considered a life skill. When a child gets the first swimming lesson, it’s seen as a major milestone, similar to when they first learn how to ride a bike. It can give their confidence and self-esteem a boost, and it helps them develop muscular control, concentration, and adaptability. These are valuable skills that they could use even when they’re not swimming.
A Better, Safer Way to Have Fun
Teaching kids to swim provides a wonderful way to promote safety while still having a lot of fun. It gives us parents assurance even while allowing our children to grow and have fun. Swimming can also be seen as a gateway to other exciting water-based adult activities, such as surfing or wakeboarding.
When Should Your Child Start Having Swimming Lessons?
When is the best time for children to start having swimming lessons? Is there a recommended age? Is teaching a child to swim ideal for every child?
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) doesn’t recommend infant swim classes who are less than a year old. At this age, kids still haven’t fully developed their motor skills. They wouldn’t be able to hold their heads above the water to breathe.
But, if you’d still want to have fun in the water safely with your little one, you can opt to take them to water play classes or activities. This way, you and your tot can share bonding moments, and your little one can have the opportunity to get used to being in the water.
Meanwhile, according to the AAP, kids aged 1 to 4 can already start taking toddler swimming lessons.
Remember that every child develops at a different rate, so consider your child’s own development pace and limitations before making any major decision. For older children already used to the water, it might be a good idea to enroll them in swimming lessons with and without parents.
And, as much as you may want to have some fun in the water with your young one soon, it’s best if you don’t force them to learn how to swim.
When Did I Start My Kids?
I started both my girls at six months. Their swimming school starts them as young as six months, so I wanted to take full advantage of early lessons. My oldest daughter did not seem ready. We did a couple of parent and me classes with her and ultimately decided to pull her out until 18 months. When we put her back into lessons, we started her in privates to learn without us being in the water with her. My youngest started at six months old. She showed signs of being ready. We skipped parent and my lessons with her and put her straight into privates. It’s important to pay attention to your child’s readiness and do what best suits them. My youngest is one and can back float, while my oldest is five and has been swimming independently for about 1 ½ – 2 years.
What Do You Need to Prepare for Swimming Lessons for Kids?
Before signing up for any swimming lessons for children, make sure to do your research. Look for programs with certified instructors on board. It’s best if these instructors are certified through the American Red Cross and have received lifeguard training, including in First Aid, CPR, and AED.
Find out if there are programs that offer small-sized classes, preferably with no more than ten individuals in each class. If you’re about to go on your first class with your child, take the time to observe and see if the instructor’s teaching style and environment work for you and your kid.
Once you’ve pinned down the major details, you can proceed to the fun part—choosing your child’s swimwear! For younger tots, parents can choose from a variety of fun prints, colors, and styles. If you have older children, let them choose their outfits with you. I recommend that you opt for swimwear that’s made from durable materials and offers sun protection.
When shopping, don’t forget to check measurements to ensure that your child’s outfit would fit them well. To help them get used to the feeling of wearing their new swimwear, you can have trial runs in the bath or the shower.
What Other Things Do Parents Need to Know?
Swim lessons for a toddler make for a safer swim, but these won’t guarantee that children will be completely protected from drowning. These lessons only serve as a layer of protection that can help prevent water accidents. Complementing these lessons with focused supervision is important, especially when your child is close to the water.
The whole family can have fun in a better, safer way. Investing in kids’ swimming training gives children more freedom to explore the world and discover more about themselves.
Are you planning to ensure your children learn to swim? If your child is currently taking lessons, how has the journey been so far? What precautions and preparations did you take? As parents, what else can we do to help our kids be themselves without compromising their safety?
Are you planning on enrolling your child in swimming lessons? If your child is currently taking lessons, how has the journey been so far? What precautions and preparations did you take? As parents, what else can we do to help our kids be themselves without compromising their safety? Contact me here and let me know!