What You Need to Know Before Taking Your Child to Swim Lessons   

Swim lessons are essential for your child to develop an understanding of water safety and to get comfortable in water. According to American Institute for Preventative Medicine, the leading cause of accidental death for infants below 5 years of age is drowning. The sooner the little one gets in the water, the faster he gains proficiency in swimming and floating. Before taking your child for swim lessons, you have to decide if the toddler is ready for their first encounter with water. It is also important to understand what to expect out of swim lessons for children.

Is Your Child Ready?

Most swim lessons for children require parents to be in water with their children until they are 3 years of age. If the child learns to float and kick in the water and enjoys the idea of swimming, he may be ready to take swim lessons on his own prior to this period. The child should also be comfortable immersing his entire body including the face into the water. If the toddler enjoys the water but still hasn’t learned how to kick or float, then you need to be in the water with him for parent-and-child swimming lessons.

Optimal Swim Class Size

Toddlers are unable to focus on anything for too long. Ideally, the toddler’s swim class should not constitute more than three or four kids. Larger class size means that the child may spend most duration of the class splashing water and waiting for his turn to swim with the coach. Smaller classes offer a more personalized instruction that helps the child to pick up things faster.

Swim Coach Credentials

It is important for parents to look at the swim coach’s credentials prior to signing up for the child’s swimming lessons in NYC or at your local pool. The swim coach should be able to administer first aid and CPR for toddlers and infants. It is also important for the coach to understand water safety. He must be qualified in teaching young kids. Some swim schools only require their instructors to take a general water safety course, while others offer specialized training for the age group the instructors will be teaching. If the coach has received the latter training courses, you can have the peace of mind that your child is in safe hands.

Class Placement

Parents should not overlook the class placement of their child. It is important for the child to be around other kids of same age and skill level. If your child shows promise and picks up quickly, you can move him up in placement. By staying in the same level, he will only be wasting time that he could have spent learning new lessons. Being around kids of the same age allows your child to feel comfortable and make new friends.

Water Safety and Drowning Prevention Information

Parents should learn the basic water safety and drowning prevention information. Parents must learn to swim so they can have fun in the water with the child and ensure their safety at all times. Parents should also avoid letting their children swim alone, even if they have become proficient swimmers. Parents must ensure that someone is around to watch the child when they swim. It is also important for parents to learn how to administer CPR and first aid. A phone must also be available in case of an emergency. If parents accompany their children to a beach, they must carry a coast-guard approved life jacket with them. Inflatable toys are not meant to save lives, so parents must not place any reliance on them.

By Erica Buteau

Change Agent. Daydream Believer. Maker. Creative. Likes love, peace and Jeeping. Dislikes winter, paper cuts and war. She/Her/Hers.

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