With access to indoor and outdoor pools and many other water activity venues like lakes, beaches, rivers, and waterparks – every child needs to have swimming skills. And since swim class is the best place to learn how to swim, every parent should enroll their child in a swim class.
4 Key Reasons Each Child Needs to be Enrolled in Swimming Class
There are many benefits to enrolling your child in swim lessons. Let’s take a look at 4 of them!
1. Swim lessons teach water safety
Parents can protect their children from the risk of drowning by making sure they learn how to be safe in the water. Children in the U.S. (especially those aged 1 to 4) are much safer in the water if they have taken swimming lessons.
In formal swim classes, children learn how to swim in a safe environment. They’re taught swimming strokes and basic water safety techniques like floating and treading water. Any child who will be in or near water should know how to focus on skills such as:
- Treading water or float for at least 60 seconds.
- Turning in a circle and being able to locate an exit.
- Swimming at least 25 yards before exiting the water.
- Pulling themselves out of the water without a ladder present.
- Jumping into the water until fully submerged and be able to return to the surface.
Children should also be coached in common-sense safe behaviors including walking instead of running when near water, only swimming when an adult can supervise, and being aware of weather and environmental conditions. Olympic Swimmer Cullen Jones shared his experience of nearly drowning, and the importance of adult supervision in the article, The importance of Swimming to Olympic Gold Medalist, Cullen Jones.
There are two dangerous parental misconceptions about water safety leading to the conclusion that parents should also be knowledgeable about it:
- That couldn’t happen to my family.
- As long as there are many adults present, everyone will be fine.
Because drowning can happen quickly and silently – even with adults nearby – parents should follow some basic guidelines when they’re enjoying water activities with their children:
- Stay within an arm’s reach of your child
- 1:1 supervision is best
- At a party, designate an adult whose sole focus is watching the pool or hire a lifeguard
2. Swimming lessons build strength and maintain fitness
Learning a swim stroke can help a child with gross motor skills and basic coordination and the activity of swimming can help a child build all-around muscle strength in arms and legs.
Once the swimming skill is mastered, a child has a skill that can be used – lifelong – to improve fitness. Swimming is a low-impact activity that can improve strength and cardiovascular activity. It puts less stress on joints yet improves aerobic health.
3. Swim lessons promote social development and confidence
During this time of uncertainty, group swimming lessons can provide a safe environment for responsible socialization. Even while adhering to appropriate social distancing guidelines, children are learning social skills, such as observing peers and learning to wait their turn, and as they learn to swim.
Children also learn socialization for their water activities because they begin to understand the difference between acceptable behavior and rough play that might hurt someone else. This distinction teaches children responsibility for their actions. Children who really enjoy swimming will continue activities such as swim teams, and develop enduring friendships in the process.
Even children with a fear of water can get past this special situation and learn that they can thrive in a new, unfamiliar environment and achieve an important building block for confidence. Children of all ages can benefit from the growth that comes with overcoming challenges to learn a new skill.
4. Swim lessons build lifelong skills
Compared to adults, children have a much easier time learning to swim. For parents, knowing that their child has strong swimming skills will increase their ability to enjoy time around water. For children, it is truly a rewarding feeling to master an important skill that will stay with them for a lifetime.
Before selecting the class and swim school for your child, do research so you know about instructors, current COVID-19 rules and safety procedures, class sizes, teaching styles, costs, and facility features (including pool size and temperature). To help market your swim school, we’ve put together a checklist of the top 10 things parents should consider when choosing a swim program. Download your copy today!