Enrolling your child in swimming lessons is highly recommended. That is because swimming is fun and a skill that could save your child’s life. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), drowning has been the cause of most injury-related deaths in children aged between one and four. And in children aged five to nineteen, it is the third leading cause.
With numbers like this, you probably want to lock your pool up and throw the key away. That is not necessary. You can sign them up for swimming lessons. These reduce your child’s risk of drowning significantly. However, one crucial question remains. “At what age can my child begin swimming lessons?”
We have a roadmap to getting your child accustomed to the water and developing strong swimming skills. Who knows, with our tips, you might have a little Michael Phelps on your hands.
The Swimming Roadmap
There are specific activities your children can be able to participate in depending on their ages. The aim is to introduce your children to the concept of swimming and large bodies of water as naturally as possible. You don’t want to overwhelm the little ones.
Toddlers under a year old: Does the AAP recommend infant swim classes? Their answer is, “No, because there is currently no evidence that infant swim programs for babies under 1-year-old lower their drowning risk.” However, taking your child to the pool for water play classes isn't frowned upon, so you can go for it if your child is ready.
How do you know if your child is ready? You can discuss that with your pediatrician. They’ll be better suited to letting you know whether your child is emotionally and physically ready for that step.
Water play classes are parent-baby activities that help your child get comfortable in the water. They’re a lot of fun for your kid, but be ready to get wet.
Children aged one to four: Basic swimming lessons can begin at this age, such as doggie paddling and float learning. However, your child still needs to be constantly supervised by you and any other grownup.
You could enroll your child in aquatics classes with supervision from professionals trained and certified in CPR, first aid, and water safety.
Children age five and above: By now, your child may be accustomed to the water, and they'd have learned the basics of swimming. Now, you can enroll them in programs that don't include the parents if you choose to.
These programs should still have qualified professionals (lifeguards and water watchers) on standby. These classes would bolster your child’s existing skills and introduce them to more advanced and coordinated water activities.
Increasing your child's safety during swimming lessons
These steps will help your little ones find their feet in the water. But you have probably noticed that many of them involve leaving part of your child’s security to strangers, which might be a bit hard to do. We will tell you steps to take to increase your child’s safety during swimming lessons.
Ensure the instructors are qualified: Before signing up for a swimming class, make sure the instructors are certified in CPR, first aid, and water safety. These professionals would be better able to teach your child and save your child quickly in times of danger.
Swimming classes with such professionals might cost a tidy sum, but some private facilities reduce their costs to enable children from all economic backgrounds to participate. You can search for one near you.
Follow the arms-length rule: The professionals might have it all under control, but vigilance is never wrong. The arms-length rule says that an adult who can swim should be within arms-length of any child who can’t. You should follow it diligently. The AAP terms it, “touch supervision.” For more information on the AAP’s recommendations, you can check this out.
Get a nanny: Teaching your children to swim is time-consuming and might not fall into your busy schedule. You can get a nanny instead. We can help you with that.
At Elite Nanny Agency, we have qualified nannies that can take your child through the process of swimming. Our nannies are experienced and have passed stringent selection processes to ensure they provide the best service for your children. You can reach out to us for any childcare issues you have. We are ready to help!