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When to Start Swimming Lessons for Kids

Swimming is a great skill to have, especially for young children who are raised around water, whether it’s in a backyard pool or in a nearby lake or ocean. That said, all children benefit from lessons. Read on to find out how they benefit and when to start swimming lessons for kids.

What do the experts say?

The experts on children – the American Academy of Pediatrics – agree that enrolling your kids for swim lessons to protect against drowning can begin starting at age 1.

Five-time Olympic gold medalist Missy Franklin thinks that all kids should learn how to swim early on. The competitive swimmer has retired from the sport, but now encourages kids to learn how to swim through her involvement with the “Saving Lives is Always in Season” campaign for water safety. No age is too early for swim lessons in her eyes, and many kids get excited after being introduced to the activity. “The sooner that your child is in the water, it becomes something that they want to improve upon,” Franklin said.

Why should you start swimming lessons?

The bottom line to formal swim lessons is that it is a life-saving skill that they will use for the rest of their lives. Unlike other sports that also teach things like discipline, work ethic, and teamwork, learning how to swim can actually save a life.

When considering when to start swimming lessons for your child, take into account this information: Drownings are a leading cause of injury death for young children ages 1 to 14, and three children die every day as a result of drowning, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. One layer of protection against drowning is formal swim lessons. Studies have shown an incredible 88% reduction in the risk of drowning in children ages 1 to 4 who have enrolled in formal swimming lessons. 

Preventing drowning is best accomplished by multiple layers of protection. Swimming lessons are just the first layer. Other layers include water watchers (adults whose sole responsibility is to watch the kids in the water), pool gates or fences, pool safety covers, alarms on gates, and life jackets for every person on a boat or jet ski. All of these efforts together can minimize the chances of a child drowning.

What other benefits can swimming lessons provide?

While pondering when to start swimming lessons for your child, consider the additional benefits besides swimming being a life-saving skill. Evidence has emerged that kids who take swim lessons have more advanced cognitive and physical abilities. Children with lessons proved to be “anywhere from six to 15 months ahead of the normal population when it came to cognitive skills, problem solving in mathematics, counting, language and following instructions.”

Plus, swimming is great exercise and fun for your kids!

What should you look for in a swim school?

Because you want the best for your child, be sure to investigate the different swim schools in your area. You want to find a swim school that has small class sizes for individualized attention. You also want to make sure that the classes provide training on what to do if your kid finds him or herself unexpectedly in water, such as a situation where they might have their street clothes on.

Lastly, ask a lot of questions to make sure that the swim school has a high standard of safety and cleaning procedures. Bonus points if the swim school offers cutting-edge pool and air filtration systems throughout its facilities. Schools such as Emler Swim School invest in top-of-the-line air filtration systems that draw in 100% fresh air eight times an hour, as well as high-quality UV water purification systems that use ultraviolet light rays to kill germs and viruses in the water on a continuous basis.

How can we help you today?

If you are ready to find the right class for your child, use our Class Finder tool to get started. If you’d rather talk to one of our swim experts, give us a call at 855-232-2006 and we can answer any and all of your questions. If you don’t feel comfortable signing up for in-person swim lessons right now, don’t forget that Emler also offers their exclusive [email protected] option!