by Erica Copley, Aquatics Manager
It is always a good time to begin swimming lessons for you or your children. Swimming is a great activity that can be continued throughout a lifetime and it is also an essential life skill. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, drowning is the second leading cause of death among those ages 5-24.
Having your child start swimming early in life is a wise idea for many reasons. It means that your child does not feel left out at birthday parties or summer camp because they cannot swim as well as their peers. Learning to swim also increases your child’s self-confidence as they progress. Further, swimming lessons take some stress out of vacation planning because you can relax knowing that your children are prepared to be in the water. Children may start swimming lessons as young as six months. Classes for those ages 6-24 months are designed to introduce infants and toddlers to the water as well as teach parents ways to nurture a child’s interest in water. Making bath time fun is another great way to foster familiarity with the water. Between the ages of 2-4 years is the optimal time to start kids in organized swim lessons. The exact age completely depends on your child, though, as some children swim at 2-years-old and some are still resistant to having their face submerged at the age of 4. Also, choose an instructor that meshes well with your child. The best teacher for one child in a family is not necessarily the best for all children in the family.
If your child already knows the basics of how to float and swim independently, taking part in a swim team is a great option to hone skills and increase endurance. Swimming in a team environment helps to improve overall fitness level and is also an excellent individual and team sport. It’s a great option for children who benefit from an individual sport atmosphere, but want to be part of a team.
Swimming is an important life skill that can be learned at any age. Adults who are resistant to water due to an incident in the past can still learn! Make sure to communicate your fear and concerns to your instructor. Swimming, like running, has to be built up. If you’re an adult that already knows how to swim, you can always work on improving your strokes as well. Adding swimming to your fitness routine is a wonderful way to cross-train and increase your endurance.