5 Things You Need to Know About Teaching Your Kids How to Swim
written by Brooke Duke
Kids and swimming can be weirdly controversial among parents. Today I’m going to give you the facts that some people don’t know, and how to make teaching your kids to swim as stress-free as possible.
1. Your kids need to learn how to swim.
Participation in formal swimming lessons can reduce the risk of drowning by 88% among children aged one to four years. (Source: Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine 2009)
Getting your child into swimming lessons significantly reduces their risk of a water-related injury, especially between the ages of one and four.
2. Put them in swimming lessons with a qualified instructor.
Your local Parks and Recreation department almost always offers numerous swimming lesson sessions with instructors who know what they’re doing. Another good resource is the Red Cross.
3. Start ‘em young!
In most cases you can start your children in swimming lessons at the age of six6 months with a parent and child class. Since the children most at risk of water-related injuries are between one and four years old, starting them young is a really good idea. Plus, a parent and child class is a great way to bond with your child. Many parents feel nervous about this because they don’t trust their own swimming skills, but not to worry - parent/child classes are done in the shallow end of the pool.
4. Lead by example
A lot of parents don’t feel confident in their own swimming skills. It’s never too late to learn a new skill - you can sign up for some swimming lessons yourself. This shows your kids just how important it is. Plus it’s great exercise!
5. Invest in a good pair of goggles
Kids often have a hard time with water splashing in their eyes, or wanting to open their eyes underwater and it stinging. A good pair of goggles fixes that easily. Take your child to a sporting goods store and have them try on some until you find a pair that feels comfortable but still has good suction around their eyes. For children with long hair, remember to try goggles on with their hair pulled back if that’s how they wear it while swimming, since this will affect the fit of the goggle straps.
There you have it - have fun swimming!