Swim Lessons- When should your child start swim lessons?

November 26, 2014


What to know when signing your child up for swim lessons"

There are many variables when answering the question, when is the right time to start swim lessons with your children? 

The YMCA starts swim lessons at six-months of age.  These lessons are taught in a friendly, non-forceful way allowing the children to become aclimated to the water and generate an understanding of water safety; all achieved through songs and play.  One arguement towards swim lessons at such a young age is that it gives children a false sense of security. In fact, The Association of American Pediatrics (AAP) used to say children should not take swim lessons until 4 years of age. However, after studying drowning cases of children who took swim lessons and those who didn’t; studies showed that there was an 88% reduction is in drownings from children aged one to four when swim lesson were taken.  Which is why in 2010 the AAP now safely reccommends swim lessons to start at 1 year of age.

    Preschool Swim Lesson

There are other factors as to when is the right time to start swim lessons for children. When making the decision, parents need to decide if their child is emotionally and physically ready to swim. Basic social skills; being able to listen and take turns are all important when it comes to swim lessons.  The Y teach these skills in all our levels, however a basic knowledge is important in  group classes when the parents are not in the water.  Having a “healthy fear” is also good to have when taking lessons.  Talking to your children before taking lessons and letting them know that they will be safe and that nothing bad will happen to them is important.  In all of our swim lessons, there is a water safety component. At the beginning if each session, pool and class rules are discussed, ensuring that all participants have an understanding and able to build a trustworthy bond with their instructor. 

If you are interested in taking swim lesson need help deciding what level your child is in, contact the Anna Koperski, Aquatics Director to set up a placement test  at 773.326.3544 or akoperski@ymcachicago.org