What parents need to know about swim lessons
Swimming is a go-to pastime to beat the summer heat, but it’s important to always consider safety precautions when children are around any body of water. While nothing replaces adult supervision, introducing young children to swim lessons can be a proactive step to helping keep children safe.
Swim lessons are readily available to infants as young as 6 months, but parents should consider a number of factors to evaluate the best-fit for their child. Each family is different and children’s developmental abilities and swim readiness will vary.
If your child is fearful of having his or her head submerged under water, it’s best to not force swim lessons. Remember that it’s always appropriate to try again at a later time if your child is not ready to dive into swim lessons.
In contrast, if your child is naturally overconfident around water, it’s important to be sure that swim lessons do not instill a false sense of security. Have conversations with your child to evaluate if they are emotionally ready for lessons in large bodies of water. Building confidence around water at a steady pace is ideal for successful learning and swim safety.
If children are ready to begin lessons, parents can take proactive steps to find the class most appropriate for their child. Make sure that instructors are qualified to teach swim lessons and certified in CPR and first aid. Ask to sit in on a class to gather insight on the many factors that could impact your child’s success in a particular class.
Observe to see if instructors are enthusiastic and patient and take your child with you to give them a glimpse at what to expect during their first class. While observing a class, parents can evaluate the ratio of young children to adults. Visiting the pool beforehand will also allow parents to ensure that there are shade structures nearby the pool if outdoors and that an indoor pool is well-ventilated to avoid chlorine irritation.
There are many recreation centers around the Valley that provide lessons and classes including Aqua-Tots Swim Schools, Hubbard Swim School and many more. Remember to do research and take the time to evaluate your child’s readiness before diving into swim lessons this summer.
For more tips and free child development support, call the Birth to Five Helpline at 877-705-KIDS (5437)
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All content in this article, including any advice or commentary from Southwest Human Development staff and/or others, should be considered an opinion and is provided for informational purposes only. The content is not intended to be a substitute for medical or other professional advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the direct advice of your own trusted professional with any questions or concerns you may have regarding the child/ren in your care. Southwest Human Development does not recommend or endorse any specific tests, products, procedures or other information that may be mentioned in this article. You may contact Southwest Human Development’s Birth to Five Helpline at 1-877-705-KIDS (5437) to speak with one of our early childhood professionals for personalized assistance. Birth to Five Helpline specialists are available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.