Yep as I smell spring in the air, my kids are already starting to get in the pool! (yep, it’s warm enough in Texas)! With that in mind, I thought we should talk about teaching kids to swim. Besides safety, of course, you want your child to have a good experience in the water so it becomes a lifelong hobby.
I know many adults who hate to swim because they had a horrible experience when they learned how to swim. It’s great exercise, easy on the joints and a whole lot of fun! Of course, the biggest fear is accidental death by drowning.
According to USA Swimming, in many areas of the United States, swimming is the number one cause of death for children 1 and 4 years of age. Because of this, it is imperative to teach your child how to swim at as early an age as possible so she will grow into a confident and competent swimmer and will be aware of water safety.
When is it too early?
According to the website for “Parents” magazine, the American Association of Pediatrics recommends that parents do not teach children how to swim until after their fourth birthday. By this time, your child will have developed the skills to be able to remain afloat in the water. If you want to get your child in the water sooner, “Parents” suggests enrolling in a parent-child class that involves playing water games and getting your child used to being in the water. With that being said, I DO believe it’s important to get your babies used to water by carrying them around in the pool, walk him around or float with him. Don’t force a baby to be in the water if they fear it though.
Are lessons required?
Unless your a skilled swimmer, my best suggestion is to enroll him in swimming lessons. You want a qualified instructor and a small class. I would suggest trying your local YMCA.
Teaching Your Child Yourself
If money is an issue, don’t fear, you can still teach your child how to swim but it will take patience and special attention to safety. Stay in the shallow end and be close to your child at all times.
Here is a good place to start if you plan to teach your child to swim on your own and an age breakdown.