Unless you live near the water, swim lessons for your kids might not be on your radar. For many families, these lessons are an afterthought, only coming up after an alarming incident arises. But deciding to get swimming lessons for your kids doesn’t have to come from a focus just on safety – there’s so much water recreation in this world that swimming confidence opens up a lifetime of fun and a multitude of benefits.
Here’s what you need to know about the value of swim lessons for kids.
The Danger of Not Knowing How to Swim – at Any Age
Water of any depth is a hazard to children. In fact, more kids age one to four die from drowning than any other injury. They don’t even need to fall in deep water to be in danger. Even in a shallow bath, kids can slip and bonk their head, drowning in the time it took Mom to get a towel from the closet. And there are increasing numbers of runoff management ponds across America that no amount of signage and fencing can stop kids treating as a swimming hole – kids in their late teens are at great risk from drowning also.
Drowning is usually silent and happens extremely quickly, even occurring in front of people who don’t realize what’s happening. Unlike in the movies, people who are drowning do not yell out or splash around. Instead, they simply stop moving in the water, holding deathly still as they try to catch their breath. Without rescue, they slip under the surface without ever uttering a sound.
How Swim Lessons Help Kids Stay Safe around Water
The American Academy of Pediatricians recommends that kids as young as 1 year old can start to learn to swim. No matter your child’s age, their swim lessons will always start with safety. Instructors go over the basics of staying safe near the water, such as:
- Never running near the edge of the pool
- What to do if they see someone drowning
- How to back float and tread water like a pro
- What to do if they fall off a dock or a boat
- Ways to climb out of a pool or other body of water
To assist kids to stay safe if they accidentally fall in the water, instructors go over calm breathing techniques and how to keep their heads above the surface. They also help kids feel comfortable getting their faces wet, holding their breath while underwater, and maneuvering through deep water.
Once kids can back float and tread water, they are ready to learn some swim strokes. Kids younger than four may only learn to dog paddle well enough to get to the edge of the pool. Older kids will likely learn all of the strokes, including freestyle, front crawl, and backstroke.
Learning to Swim Opens the Door to Fun and Adventure
After your kids become adept at moving through the water, you likely won’t hesitate to let them go have fun at the pool, lake, or other waterways. They can happily join their friends for waterside fun without the risks they would face if they didn’t know how to swim.
You can also plan many more outings for your family without worry about something going wrong. All your skilled swimmers can hop in the hotel pool, go to the beach, and even try their hand at waterside activities, like surfing, diving, and sailing.
Your kids might even find that they love swimming so much that they want to join the swim team. Their coach will assess their skill level with each stroke to find where they will excel. They might become a champion at the breaststroke or lead their team to the finals with their diving prowess. You just don’t know until they get in the water and start learning how to swim.
With a few swim lessons under their belt, you might even notice additional benefits, like:
- Fine motor skill improvements
- An easier time making friends
- A stronger bond with you
Since swimming is a low-impact activity, your children’s physical fitness will also likely improve without causing excess strain on their joints. The sky is the limit in how much learning how to swim benefits your child’s ability to have fun, stay safe, and excel in all aspects of life.
Finding Swim Lessons for Babies to Teens
Now that you know how swim lessons can keep your kids safe and help them have the most fun in life, it’s time to seek out a beginner’s class. After your children learn the basics, they can move through more advanced classes to improve their skill set and become even more comfortable in the water.
To learn all the right lifesaving measures and the full range of swim strokes, it’s best to seek lessons from a professional trainer. These experts offer swim lessons to kids of all ages, including babies as young as one year old. They also have classes for teens and adults who do not yet know how to swim. If you don’t know how to swim, it’s a great idea to join your kids on this educational journey.
You may find that your local community center or public swimming pool offers certified training for children. There are companies that specialize in swimming for kids, and a search online should find professional trainers who offer these lessons. You might also want to network with other parents in your area to see where they take their kids to learn to swim. Remember that the best teachers will be proud of their credentials, so check each instructor to find the best one for your kids.