1. Readiness As with any sport or skill, it’s always important to take into consideration your child’s age. While some parents may attest to the readiness of even months-old babies to learn how to swim (we have heard of stories wherein infants are tossed into pools!), experts from the American Association of Pediatrics (AAP) recommend starting your child on formal swimming lessons when he’s at least four years old. This is the age when your kid will be developed and ready and capable to learn the skills required for swimming (not that the AAP discourages infant and toddler aquatic programs).
2. Comfort in Water Your child may not be comfortable yet in water, so keep in mind that you have to ease him into this environment so as not to startle or frighten him. Establish the swimming pool as a safe and fun place to be in by introducing games and toys made for water play.
3. Swimming Gear and Equipment Safety is key at all times. Make sure you have floaters, kickboards, goggles and other essential swimming gear and equipment. Discuss with your child safety rules such as no running near the pool, and make sure he understands the signs placed within the swimming area e.g., No Diving, etc.
4. Home Lessons or Swimming School? Decide on whom you would want to give your child swimming lessons. Do you feel confident enough in your own skills as a teacher? Do you have a pool at home or at the clubhouse? Consider the benefits as well of enrolling your child in formal swimming lessons. Aside from letting your child interact with other kids who are learning to swim like him, you’ll also be assured of a structured program to guide him during the learning process. Swimming coaches are backed with training and first aid skills to ensure your child’s safety.
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