Parents who wish to introduce their children to the wonders of swimming may feel uneasy about starting them in the water too early. Young children who are fascinated by splashing around in the tub may seem like they are ready to take it one step further and this excitement should be encouraged.
But keep in mind that it’s up to the child whether or not he or she would like to entertain the idea of stepping into a pool and learn to swim. Parents can take the lead from their kids as to their readiness to sign up for swimming lessons when the weather gets warmer.
So if you are currently pondering the possibility of starting your child with swimming lessons take these handy hints to heart before the summer season starts.
The Right Age
Is there a minimum age for taking swim lessons? The American Academy of Pediatircs (AAP) believes there is, which is why they suggest signing up for swim school registration in richmond at around the age of four.
This is only a guideline, however, as your child may not be mentally or physically ready to jump in at the age. But for those kids who are demonstrating a serious interest in taking to water, swimming lessons should be started no earlier than four years old.
That’s due to the fact that kids aren’t fully developed enough to truly understand how to perform the correct swimming strokes younger than four. They are simply too young to comprehend the motions and they may be turned off to swimming because they’re having difficulty trying to emulate what they are being taught.
Even children who are age four or up may not be ready so consult with your child’s pediatrician and ask their opinion as to your child’s emotional, mental, and physical preparedness to enroll in swimming lessons in a local program.
The Right Program
Although the American Academy of Pediatrics suggests that children reach a certain age before they should be allowed to participate in swim lessons, age shouldn’t be the only determining factor.
The child’s physical and emotional well-being are also an important part of the decision-making process and if your young one has the coordination to paddle their arms and kick their legs in unison together, then you may be ready to start.
They shouldn’t be scared to get in the water either and if the child shows even the least bit of reluctance then it’s best you wait.
However, if the child can’t spend enough time in the water be it a pool, the beach, or the local lake, then you will want to begin searching out qualified swim programs to get your child on the road to swimming preparedness.
Discuss your child’s age and capabilities with the instructors who work in the program and ask about the classes that are available. If your child has barely reached the age of four or isn’t physically adept as his or her peers, you should emphasize a basic learning regimen as the child’s introduction to swimming.
Starting with the fundamentals such as floating, kicking, and swimming with a doggie paddle stroke are the best ways to get the child acclimated to the water and learning the essential concepts of keeping the above of water.
Another thing to look into is the experience and certification of the instructors. Do they know CPR and practice responsible water safety in the pool? What are their policies for supervising young children as they take the course? How successful have previous students been in taking the classes and becoming strong swimmers?
Ask how big the classes can get. You want your child to get personal attention in learning how to be an effective swimmer and a class with too many students can make it very difficult for the swimming instructor to give your child the proper level of attention.
Inquire as to the program’s policies towards the use of swimming accessories such as inner tubes, floaties, water wings, and other successful swim aids that can make a child feel safer in a deep body of water or strong current. Some swim programs even permit parents to watch closely or even participate in the class so as to give the child a stronger sense of security.
While this may seem empowering to the child, it can also be very distracting and prevent your little one from paying close attention to the instructor.
These are all critical questions to ask and you must be sure you make these inquiries ahead of time. You don’t want to find out you’ve chosen the wrong swimming program after you’ve paid any non-refundable registration fees.