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When is a Child Ready to Learn How to Swim?

Girl SwimmingMany parents often wonder when it’s time for their children to learn how to swim, or when the right time is to get them signed up for lessons. Research seems to indicate that the earlier a child is introduced to the water, the more comfortable they will become with it and the easier it will be for them to pick up on pool safety techniques and swim stroke development.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends parents waiting until a child is at least 4 years old before they sign them up for lessons, and this is simply due to general developmental limitations that a young toddler will have. However, some studies performed by Stephen Langendorfer, PhD and several Australian studies indicate that once a child reaches two milestones in their life, they are ready for lessons – these include age and individual experience.

Toddlers who are exposed to a backyard swimming pool are more “ready” for lessons as compared to a child who is only swimming at a public pool or one at a local aquatic center or gym. In fact, there are some lessons which are designed for children as young as 6 months of age. These classes help to teach the basics and can work to prevent drowning and other hazards associated with the water.

Basically, it is up to the parent when they want to sign their child up for lessons. If you feel your son or daughter is “ready” for learning the basics so that they can get more comfortable in the water, then you should sign them up for lessons at a place you are also comfortable with. Children won’t really be able to learn swim strokes until they are about 5 years old.

Experts also recommend the following for teaching children to swim:

  • Annual lessons should be attended for 8 weeks every season
  • Pool barriers and security need to be put in place in any backyard swimming pool
  • Supervision is a MUST for a child of any age – regardless of how well they seem to be picking up on swimming techniques

To Learn More

For more information about getting a backyard above ground pool of your very own to aid in your child’s learning, please feel free to give Ambassador Pools a call today. We serve New England, including all of Massachusetts, Hudson Valley, western PA, and parts of the Midwest, including Cleveland, Akron, and Canton in Ohio.

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