Drowning is a leading cause of death for children, and the number of children needing emergency care for submersion injuries is five times higher. The good news is swimming lessons reduce your child’s risk of drowning.
It’s clear that teaching your child to swim is important. But you may be wondering how old your child needs to be before he or she starts lessons. Here at Bear Paddle Swim School, we offer swim lessons for children six months and older.
What’s The Best Age?
Assuming your child is at least six months of age, the best time to start lessons is now. One National Institutes of Health study found that formal swimming lessons reduced the risk of drowning by 88% for children ages one to four.
If you have a young child, starting lessons as early as possible provides them with the survival and safety skills they need to help keep them safe around water. They’ll learn how to float, swim to the side of the pool, and pull themselves up. Those skills could one day save their lives.
What If My Child Is Older?
No matter your child’s age, swimming is an essential skill he or she should have. We offer lessons to suit every age and every experience level. If your child is older and hasn’t yet learned to swim, there’s no time like the present.
While we encourage parents to enroll their children in lessons as early as possible, if your child is older, don’t let that keep you away! Seek out a school like Bear Paddle that offers age-appropriate lessons. You can be sure your child will have peers of similar age and experience levels in their classes.
Benefits For All Ages
Swimming is a fun activity that provides aerobic exercise. It’s a healthy activity that people of all ages can enjoy, and it opens the door to many other hobbies and careers. Perhaps most importantly, though, learning to swim helps keep your child safe.
When young children drown, it’s often because they fell into pools. Older children may find themselves struggling in natural bodies of water or unexpectedly falling in during activities like boating. Teaching your child to swim gives them the skills they need to help them survive, get out of the water, or stay afloat and conserve energy until they can be rescued.
Swimming Is A Journey
Remember that swimming is a journey, not a one-time event. Children learn different skills as they age. Infants and toddlers learn to be comfortable around the water and then to float, kick, and pull themselves up out of the pool. Older children learn more advanced strokes and safety skills. As they progress, they may even want to learn to swim competitively!
The longer your children take lessons, the more they will learn. We also encourage our swimmers to take advantage of Family Swim, where the whole family can have fun and practice their skills.
Children should be at least six months before learning to swim, but once they’ve turned six months, the earlier the better. Swim lessons provide a huge reduction in drowning risk for children ages one to four, so their importance cannot be overstated.
However, swimming is important for people of all ages, so older children should start lessons right away if they do not already know how to swim. Even if you feel like your child knows how to swim, lessons can still be beneficial. They teach more advanced skills and give your child an opportunity to practice.
Click here to learn more about our swim lessons and what skills are taught at each level.