I have witnessed a child drowning. It’s not the Hollywood visual you might think it is. There isn’t the splashing water. There isn’t the flailing arms and legs with cries for help. In reality it’s quiet, fast and barely noticeable to the untrained eye. I saw a child at the bottom of a swimming pool with their eyes wide open staring up at a desperate mother who only moments earlier was enjoying a conversation on her cell phone. Since I caught it in time the child was fine, but this was all preventable by making sure you teach your child to swim.
What age should children take swimming lessons?
Want to have a big fat family argument? Bring this topic up. Everybody has strong opinions on this subject. Some say the earlier the better while others think before age four would be ridiculous. Even the American Academy of Pediatrics have changed their minds on this subject. For many years the Academy recommended that children should not take swimming lessons before age 4. Today they have changed that opinion and have stated that children can take lessons as young as age 1. Why do you say? Because they have found that the number of deaths due to drowning has deceased as the number of very young children have learned to swim. The Washington Post has a great article that is short and to the point and a must read.
5 Reasons to Teach Your Child to Swim Now!
- If you live near or around water it is a must.
- It is easier to learn a new skill at a younger age.
- Young children have no fear of water and do not understand the danger.
- Swimming is social activity.
- Better to be safe than sorry.
The other big piece here that cannot go unmentioned is you. Mommy and Daddy you need to know how to swim too. The reasons are obvious, thus should be at the top of your to do list this summer not your bucket list. The YMCA offers adult swimming lessons in most communities. If you are lucky enough to have your own pool there are many private instructors available. How can you expect to rescue your own child if you can’t swim yourself? Imagine standing at the edge of a pool watching your child struggle in the water and all you can do is scream. You protect your family in so many ways this is just one more necessary safety measure.
What age did you teach your child to swim? Do you think it was beneficial?