Why Every Child Should Take Swimming Lessons
By Kaitlin Gardner
When we started a family, I knew we’d be around the water a lot. We hope to buy a home with a backyard pool someday. We’ll be going on family vacations to the beach. It was important for me to know that my kids would be safe around the water, and that meant swim lessons.
Take Swimming Lessons for Safety:
I was once at the community pool and saw a small child wander off the edge of the pool and into the water. The lifeguard had been watching him, and quickly pulled the child to safety and averted a potential tragedy. But that visual image has never left me. One of the highest causes of unintentional deaths among children is from drowning. The water just has inherent risks, and can be a danger for a child. It is reported that taking formal swim lessons can reduce the potential for drowning for a child by up to 88 percent. It just makes good sense to have my children know how to swim. I found some excellent resources that give more details:
Take Swimming Lessons to Develop A Lifetime Skill.
I will be in charge of my children for their early years, but if I give them swim lessons, they can take that skill with them wherever they go for the rest of their life. I learned to swim at an early age, and I just don’t have to think about the water part of the equation if I’m invited to a swim party. I saw a teenager sitting back from the pool at a party, and she just didn’t look happy. I confirmed with a friend that she didn’t know how to swim. I don’t want to see my kids in that position, so I will do my part to prepare them.
|Skip the floaties and use a US Coast Guard-approved life jacket|
Take Swimming Lessons to Bond with Your Child
I didn’t have to wait until my kids are 6 years old, and sign them up for a swim lesson. Personally, I think that would be overly stimulating if a child hasn’t been around the water, and is suddenly thrust into a pool environment around a group of kids.
I started my children with Mommy and Me classes when they were around six months old, and they grew very comfortable around the water. It is recommended that a child can begin basic lessons when they are about 4 years old, so I did that as well. They began the process of learning movements that would eventually become swim strokes. By age six, they were ready for formal swim lessons, and eager to begin.
A chance for bonding. I will only get a limited number of chances to bond with my children over “firsts,” so I didn’t just drop my sons off at the pool and go run errands. I stayed and watched what they did. Seeing their excitement when they learned a new stroke – or even better, the first time they got to go off the diving board – was a special moment that I got to share with them. I also got to watch them grow in comfort and confidence with the water, which only helped me relax when it was time to let them loose around a pool on their own.
|Best Swim Diaper We’ve Used!|
Continue to Take Swimming Lessons to Extend Learning
Kids don’t just take school for one year and leave – they build on the foundation of learning. I believe it will be the same with swimming. So my boys will take intermediate and advanced lessons as they grow. The repetition and building proficiency will only increase their ability to safely be around the water.
I smile as I watch my sons splashing in the pool with their friends, knowing I am preparing them well for an important part of their lives.
Additional Resources about Learning to Swim and Swimming Games:
Kaitlin Gardner started An Apple Per Day to explore her passion for a green living lifestyle, and healthy family living. She and her husband have just moved to rural Pennsylvania, where they enjoy exploring the countryside to discover interesting and out of the way places. She is also learning how to paint watercolors.