Every parent should understand the importance of letting their children take swimming lessons. Many people die from drowning; around 10 individuals die every single day because of it. While swimming lessons cannot save all those lives, it can save a lot of them.
A child does not necessarily have to master fancy strokes and swimming styles. What’s important is their ability to tread water, float, stand, or grasp onto anything, and swim back to shore if anything happens.
Here is a list of things parents must know if they’re thinking about letting their child take swimming lessons:
Children should at least be 4 years old to learn how to swim.
They will be required to follow directions, listen, and remember what they have learned. Most children below the age of 4 lack these cognitive skills to learn effectively.
However, swim lessons can be useful for ages 1 to 4.
Some kids are ready to learn earlier than others, this can be useful in case they fall into the water and they can swim their way back to the edge of the pool.
The beach or pool where the lessons will take place needs to be safe.
If you’re being told that the area is totally safe, it’s best to see it for yourself just to be sure. Maintenance and cleanliness should be on your list, including lifeguards who aren’t teaching. Deeper water areas should be marked and something should prevent the children from reaching those areas.
Their teachers must be trained.
You should ask about the teachers’ training and evaluation and whether or not it is under the regulation of an agency such as the Red Cross.
The kids to teachers ration must be appropriate.
If possible, it should be the lowest it could get especially for new swimmers and young children. The teacher should be able to keep watch of the entire group and must be able to have all the kids within arm’s reach.
A progression and a curriculum should exist and the child’s ability should be the basis.
There must be a clear process of how children are assessed and a smart plan for developing their skills.
Parents should be allowed to watch for a few minutes.
Parents should see for themselves what is happening in the class but they should not watch often because it can be distracting for the child. Many pools do have decks or observation windows.
Thoughtful use of flotation devices.
“Bubbles” or any other flotation devices may be used at the beginning of the lesson but they should later be used to teach children to be less dependent on them.
Fear of the water is not a reason to quit or to not take swimming lessons.
Some children are more afraid of the water than others but it is normal and common for them to fear it. Swim teachers should be willing to help you convince your child to take a dip by starting with positive reinforcement.
Having the ability to swim is not equal to never drowning.
Children could get hurt, tired, snagged, disoriented, or trapped. Though swimming lessons save lives, children must always be under supervision around water and equipped with lifejackets for water sports.
If you plan on making your child take swimming lessons, keep these in mind. If you’re not planning to take your child to swimming lessons, you might want to reconsider.