Important Life Lesson: Learning to Swim

Many Americans like to spend their summers surrounded by water, whether it’s the pool or the beach. Spending some of your summer teaching your children to swim is not only great physical exercise; it can also save their lives.

According to the CDC drowning “ranks fifth among the leading causes of unintentional injury death in the United States.” In fact, every day ten people die from drowning. And one in every five of these drowning victims is a young child. In order for these statistics to decrease it’s crucial that children learn to swim at an early age.

If you’re interested in teaching your children to swim yourself consider doing some research first. You can find information on blogs, on YouTube, and in various “how-to” books. You’ll also need to prepare a few encouraging words and the necessary gear like floating devices, goggles, kickboards, and maybe even swimming caps. This will help them feel secure in the water, especially if they’re a bit timid about the idea of swimming lessons.

It’s important to start off slow and ease your children into the lessons. Let them get comfortable holding their breath and putting their heads under water. The next important step is teaching your kids how to float on their backs. You can hold them up in your arms until they get the hang of it. It teaches them to relax instead of panicking in the water. After that, try teaching them basic kicking and arm strokes with the help of a kickboard.

Along with swimming lessons, your children will need to learn water safety rules. If they’re beginners or young, they should stay away from the deep end. Whether they’re at the pool or the beach it’s important to swim with a buddy.  Teach them about diving safety too. Before jumping in, children should check the water depth and look for any hazards.

If you prefer that your children get professional guidance, research organizations like the American Red Cross and the YMCA. The American Red Cross offers preschool aquatics. For young children and adults, they offer swimming and water safety classes. And many YMCA locations offer both public and private swimming lessons.