Swimming for most of us is a recreational sport participated in to cool off on hot days, spend time with family or friends or just get a little exercise. However, swimming is also a skill that can save someone’s life. Most parents today ensure that their children know how to swim. However, determining when their child is ready for swim lessons is difficult for many parents. Here is some helpful information.
Does Your Child Enjoy Being in the Water?
Knowing how to swim can make swimming a lot more fun for everyone involved. Children, in particular, enjoy knowing how to swim because it allows them to be more creative and bold while in the water. However, even more important than the fun aspect is the fact that knowing how to swim can save a life.
Drowning is the leading cause of accidental injury and death in the United States, and the highest number of drowning rates is with children one to two years of age. Although knowing how to swim is not a guarantee a child won’t drown, children who know how to swim are less likely to drown.
Is Your Infant Comfortable in the Water?
Is a child ever too young for swimming lessons? Years ago, parents didn’t teach their children how to swim until they were at least school age. Today the trend is going towards teaching swimming to children preschool age or even younger. If your child is comfortable in the water, he or she may be ready for a few short lessons.
While the American Academy of Pediatrics still doesn’t recommend swimming lessons to children until they reach the age of four, they now report that children age one to four are less likely to drown if they have some sort of water instruction, even if it’s just getting the child familiar with the water.
Although swimming can be a fun and healthy activity for children, it is also be a life-saving skill that all children should know. Parents often find it beneficial to enroll their children in programs that offer both children and infant swimming lessons. Swimming is probably one of the most important things a young child can learn.
Does Your Child Have an Interest in Being in the Water?
Every child is different and every child may be ready for swimming at a different age. It’s somewhat important that the child have an interest in the water. If they’re interested in being in the water, they’re a going to be more willing to learn new techniques and allow a stranger to work with them. In some cases, the child may show interest but also exhibit fear when the parents are around but be more responsive to a swimming instructor.
Children who enjoy bath time usually respond well to swimming lessons. The same can be said for young children who have spent time in the water with their parents at a very young age. Generally, the best way to determine is to check the child’s reaction to water and being placed in the water. Children who fear water or have no interest can still be successful at swimming lessons, but it may take longer.
Learning how to swim should be an important part of a child’s life and one that parents should consider a top priority in their and their child’s life. Whether the infant is taught by a professional educational program or right at home isn’t as important as the fact that the infant learns the art of swimming. The knowledge a child can gain from swimming lessons can not only enhance their swimming events but may also save a life.
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