Swimming is a fun activity that many people enjoy worldwide, and learning to swim can open the doors to exciting competitive sports opportunities. But when it comes to learning how to swim, it’s essential to understand that swimming lessons are a vital survival tool that helps build the confidence and skills people need to enjoy swimming safely. Before you sign your child up for swimming lessons, be sure to keep the following in mind:
1. Fear of the Water is Common and Normal
Children, particularly those over the age of three, tend to develop a natural fear of the water. Apprehension, anxiety, and even tears are a normal part of the process of learning how to swim. Be sure to keep a positive attitude and encourage your child to trust his or her instructor. Praise their accomplishments and encourage them to keep trying when the fear takes over.
2. Flotation Aids Don’t Teach Vital Water Survival Skills
You may be tempted to use a flotation aid, such as a life vest, water wings, or pool toys to help a child become comfortable in the water. Those devices give non-swimmers a false sense of security and confidence that quickly disappears if they find themselves in the water without them! Swimming lessons should be conducted in a swimsuit only, with no flotation devices. Additionally, flotation devices and pool toys should not be used by your child until they can hold their breath underwater and swim confidently in a depth of water that is too deep for them to touch the bottom.
3. Goggles Are Not for Novice Swimmers
One of the first things new swimmers need to learn is how to open their eyes underwater. Swimming with eyes open lets your child find the edge of the pool, the steps, ladders, shorelines, or docks without lifting their head out of the water. They can swim to safety faster, with less chance of fatigue, if they keep their face in the water. If a child learns to swim with goggles, they’ll lack the necessary confidence to open their eyes when swimming. They are more prone to fatigue while swimming, or they might run into unseen pool edges, rocks, or other hard surfaces, which could result in injury or drowning. Goggles should be used for recreation activities like snorkeling and only by strong swimmers.
4. Swimming Lessons Can Accelerate Learning
If you’ve tried to teach your child to swim, and you can’t seem to overcome their hurdles of fear and anxiety, formal swimming lessons are your best option. Your child will see you as their safety net in the pool, and they might be reluctant to let go. A certified swimming instructor knows how to help non-swimmers overcome their fears, with proven methods that build confidence and competence in a safe, controlled environment. If your child still tries to cling to you at their lessons, ask if there is a place where you can watch that is hidden from view of your child. They might cry at first, but you’ll most likely be surprised by how fast they overcome their fears with the right instructor.
5. Starting Early is Your Best Step Toward Drowning Prevention
Babies are born knowing how to swim, and most take to the water very quickly. By starting your baby in Survival Swim lessons at six months old, you’ll give them a head start for water safety. In many cases, babies who go through Survival Swim training will know how to float independently before learning how to walk! You’ll skip the fear of water stage that develops in toddlers and promote a healthy appreciation for–and enjoy of–swimming that will last a lifetime.
Take Your First Step Into the Pool with Survival Swim
Survival Swim prepares people, both young and old, with the confidence and skills they need to become strong, competent swimmers. You can find an Instructor near you and get the Survival Swim App so you can start teaching Survival Swim to your non-swimmers today, starting as young as six months old. Before you know it, your children will be ready to enjoy swimming recreationally, and they’ll have gained a skill that will improve their safety around water throughout their whole lives.