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swimming lessons for kids

Swimming Lessons for Kids: Everything a Parent Needs to Know

One of the most popular activities for kids that is fun and incredibly beneficial is swimming lessons. Living in a region surrounded by water, getting kids comfortable and teaching them the basics of water safety is so important. Signing your child up for swimming lessons in Seattle will offer a layer of protection and a place for them to meet other kids and have some fun.

We will answer all the basic questions and help you determine the best classes for your family. There are options for swimming lessons in Seattle and all over King County, so you’ll be equipped to find the best program for your family and needs.

The Importance of Swim Lessons for Children

Learning to swim, float and gain confidence near the water can help protect our kids. The reality is that drowning accidents are the 2nd leading cause of death in children and it’s most common in swimming pools. Drowning accidents are so tragic, but in many cases, they are preventable. One pediatrics study showed that formal swimming instruction can reduce drowning risk in young children by 88%. 

Enrolling your child in swimming lessons is one of the simplest ways to take action to protect them from these accidents.

Benefits of Swimming Lessons

When looking at different options for after-school activities and summer camp options, parents are searching to see how things will benefit their child. By choosing swimming lessons in Seattle, your child will enjoy a huge life of benefits both mentally and physically. It’s so much more than just safety.

The physical benefits include improving cardiovascular health and increasing lung capacity as well as building muscles. Regular exercise can also improve sleep patterns with children (and adults too). On the mental side, swimming has been proven to reduce stress and anxiety. The focus put on techniques and breathing utilizes their memories and concentration skills and helps to improve those over time.

Helping children feel comfortable and confident around water is another huge benefit. We mentioned the importance of safety, but it also can open doors for other activities. Things like kayaking, scuba diving, surfing and other water sports can only be enjoyed once kids learn to swim, so it’s building a great base for future activities. There are many summer camps that require children to know how to swim before attending as well for that added layer of safety. Getting them started now is just helping to set them up to take advantage of all the great outdoor activities the Pacific Northwest has to offer. 

Other Considerations

It’s really hard to pull a cons list together for enrolling children in swimming lessons in Seattle, but we can help point out some things that could be challenging. 

Some children may fear the water and resist starting their lessons in the pool. If you have a very young child, you can encourage fun in the bathtub with splashing and bubbles to help them associate water with positive moments. Once the children get older, it’s good to encourage them to watch the other kids in the pool if they feel scared and keep encouraging them without pushing them.

It’s also important to remember that swimming lessons don’t completely eliminate the risk of drowning. It’s just one layer of protection. Keeping any pools or water sources blocked off from children when there is no supervision is another important layer of protection. 

Read more tips for parents to help prevent drowning accidents.

What Age Should My Child Start Swimming Lessons?

Swim lessons are offered for children as young as six months old, but each child develops differently. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends starting lessons as early as one year old to start to add protection against drowning. Toddler classes usually involve the parents to be in the pool to assist. 

Most children are ready for swim lessons by their fourth birthday. Four-year-olds can usually learn some of the basics like floating, treading water, and using arms and legs to move themselves through the water. By ages 5 and 6, the lessons focus on the techniques in the front crawl.

It’s never too late to enroll children in swim classes. If they are older and have never had formal instruction, just talk to the different schools and see what classes they recommend. 

What To Look for in a Class

When you’re looking at your options for swimming lessons in Seattle, there are a few things that you should look for. 

  • Instructors who are qualified and experienced in teaching children how to swim
  • Lifeguards that are certified in First Aid and CPR
  • A student/teacher ratio that feels comfortable for you
  • Inclusions of water survival skills in addition to different stroke techniques
  • Water that is a safe and warm temperature and regularly cleaned and treated

What Supplies Do I Need?

One of the perks of choosing swimming as an activity for your child is that you won’t need to run out and purchase a trunk full of supplies. The basics that your child will need includes a swimming suit and a towel packed and ready to go. It’s always good to have flip-flops or sandals for the pool area. Goggles are sometimes recommended. 

If the swimming lessons take place outside, make sure that you have plenty of sunscreen at your fingertips. And if you are signing up your young toddlers or babies, you need to have special swim diapers with a tight fitting cover.

Check with the swim school about lockers in the changing rooms as well. Some ask that you bring your lock, while others will provide that for you. 

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