When Should My Child Start Swimming Lessons?

by Pool Builders on 02-21-2012 in Articles

Swim lessons for children is one of the most important decisions a parent can make, not only because it may save their life someday but also because there is tremendous enjoyment to be had in an aquatic environment. Some parents are concerned about the ideal age when a child should begin swim lessons but more important age is simply the decision that children will get swim lessons. With that in mind, its never too early or too late for swim lessons.

When I say it's never too early, that's exactly what I mean. Newborn babies surprisingly take to the water extremely well and can be introduced to it in their first year. Many facilities offer classes for mothers and infants based primarily around building a very early comfort in the water, but you don't need a class to spend time in the water. Just get in there and do it but keep safety in mind.

Obviously keep both hands on your child and your complete attention on your infant at all times. Swirling, spinning, light splashing and other playing all count as productive fun the water. Just don't try any head or face immersion at this point. One note is that pool facilities will not allow traditional diapers in their pools. There are special diapers designed for pool use that work well.

A few years after infancy comes a time when children are able to understand and learn elementary swimming techniques such as blowing bubbles and getting their face wet (a crucial part of improving comfort in water). Once this comfort level is established, the sky is the limit as children can learn the traditional swimming strokes and take it anywhere they want.

Many children use water comfort and basic swimming skills to create everlasting memories with friends at local pools, beaches and water parks. Some children develop the skills for use on a swim team where they develop an appreciation for competition, teamwork and friendship. Others take it a step further and become certified lifeguards able to help others in need while often paying for books or college tuition. In time, enjoyment of the water can take many forms from daily physical exercise to scuba diving the Great Barrier Reef.

While starting young can create an early comfort in the water, its never too late for swim lessons. Age does make it harder to gain comfort in the water, with fully grown adults sometimes needing significant drills and practice to develop basic comfort. However, learning later in life allows students to better understand their progress and the significance of their achievements. Some of the most rewarding swim lessons I ever gave were for non-swimming athletes who wanted to get into triathlons. Best of all the facts don't change. Learning to swim at a later age can still save your life and can still provide everlasting memories with friends and family.

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