When Should My Child Learn to Swim

When making your decision, keep your child’s emotional maturity, physical and developmental abilities and comfort level in the water in mind. Children develop at different rates and not all are ready at exactly the same time.

Learning to swim should be a top priority for every family since drowning is one of the top causes of death among young children.

In most cases, you’ll find that swim lessons for kids will start at around 6 months of age. At this level, the lessons are meant to help your baby get acquainted with the water and for you to learn water safety. Putting them in lessons before they’re ready may traumatize them. If your child is iffy about the water, it is best to begin in the bathtub.

Recent studies suggest that water survival skills training and swim lessons can help reduce drowning risk for children between 1 – 4 years. Classes that include both parents and their children are a good way to introduce good water safety habits and start building swim readiness skills. If your child seems ready—Start now!

What should I look for when choosing swim lessons?

For children under four

Provide an age-appropriate atmosphere: Children should feel safe during lessons.

Include “touch supervision”: An adult should be in arms reach for “touch supervision”.

Maintain water purity: Water disinfection and maintaining proper chlorine levels is really important.

Keep water warm: Hypothermia is a greater risk at this age. Water should be 87 to 94 degrees.

For children of all ages

Swim instructors should be trained and certified through a nationally recognized learn-to-swim curriculum.

Teach good safety habits in , on, and near water. Children should learn never swim alone land always ask permission to go in any type of water.

Teach what to do if they end up in the water unexpectedly. Learn self-rescue skills, swimming in clothes. Also what to do if you see another person struggling in the water.

Try watching a class first to see first-hand if it is right for your child.

Require multiple sessions. You should be able to see gradual but consistent progress in your child’s swimming abilities.

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