For every family, learning to swim should be a priority. Swimming is an important life skill that plays a huge role against drowning. It is estimated that half of Americans aren’t able to swim well enough to save themselves in situations of distress. In this blog, we will explain when to put your child in swim lessons.
With the facts stated above, it is very concerning because parents are factored into this number and many of these parents have children who are constantly getting in the water. It does not matter how often you go to the beach or pool, learning to swim has proven to be beneficial for both children and adults.
Learning to swim begins with exposure, plenty of play time in the water and fundamental skills.
When should your child learn to swim? Children develop skills at different rates. Not every child is ready to begin swim lessons at the same time.
When making the decision to place your child in swim lessons, it is important to factor in their maturity level and physical abilities. Making sure you know your child’s limitations and comfort level in water is vital before starting lessons!
The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests that infants and toddlers aged 1 to 4 should start an aquatics program.
Children aged 4 or older should begin consistent swim lessons. At age 4, your child should be developmental ready for lessons.
Infant and toddler aquatic programs are very popular for both parents and kids. Aquatic programs are a great way to teach your kids to enjoy being in the water. They are also a terrific start for teaching water safety to parents.
Studies show that there are benefits of infants being in the water. The benefits of infants exploring water at their current stage of life are, building muscle, helping with balance and coordination and improving their sleep schedule. For parents with infant children who would like to begin the learn to swim process at home, these are a few ways you can get involved:
- Encourage water exploration in the bathtub
- Carry your child around the pool and practice kicking in the water
- Splashing water in the shallow end to show that they shouldn’t be afraid
Making Swim Lessons Fun
Once your infant becomes a toddler there are different ways to begin peaking their interest in learning to swim. You can start with:
- Singing songs about water
- Playing games in the bathtub
- Retrieving toys in the water
These are just a few ways to get started in the learn to swim process if you are not comfortable putting your child in lessons automatically. All of these steps mentioned above are extremely beneficial but do not replace actual swim lessons.
Our instructors at InstaSwim, work with several kids and practice treading water and swimming with Kick Boards. Most lessons start off being 30 minutes long which is the perfect amount of time because your child will feel “worked out” after but not long enough that they lose interest or become uncomfortable in the water.
How long should you keep your child in swim lessons? Consistent training never hurts! The ultimate goal when learning to swim is water safety. At a minimum, your child should be able to float on their backs, tread water, swim for long distances and jump in/out of the pool.
Most parents are very surprised at how naturally children take to the water. The sooner you introduce your child to the water, the easier it is for them to enjoy and celebrate the environment. Once your child becomes older, fear of many things in life will become more prevalent.
So, by conditioning your child at an early age in their life, you are allowing them to already become comfortable in the water. Being in the water engages your baby’s body in a totally unique way! As your baby kicks, glides and smacks in the water, billions of new neutrons are created. This improves their cognitive functioning which helps with reading skills, academic learning, language development and spatial awareness.
Starting swim lessons early on for your child also makes parenting a whole lot easier! Once your child becomes familiar and comfortable with water, as the parent you do not have to dread shower or bath time with your little one.
Children who are afraid of water, have behavioral outburst or cry when it’s time for them to be washed off. Another benefit to starting swimming lessons early is that everyone can enjoy the beach or the pool when they go!
While at the beach or the pool, you as the parent will naturally feel more relaxed knowing your child knows exactly what to do in and around the water. When your child looks forward to playing in the water, you get to enjoy the water too!
Parents no longer have to sit on the sidelines or be anxiety ridden, swimming can become a family activity.