Spring has sprung and summer is coming quick…and now is the best time to sign children up for swim lessons! We started our lessons this past weekend, a second “season” of swim instruction for Raef and the first for Isaiah – well, he is only 8 months! For us, living in Florida where there’s water everywhere (ocean, intra-coastal, canals, pools, etc…), we felt it was especially important to get our children familiar and comfortable with the water ASAP. There are all sorts of options when considering swimming lessons. You can hire a private instructor that will come and teach your child in your own pool, take class at a private facility or at community run programs like city parks and rec, community pools, YMCA, etc…
Here are some alarming statistics on drowning:
- Nationally, drowning is the leading cause of injury-related death among children ages 1 to 4, and the second leading cause of death for ages 0 to 19 years.
- About one in five people who die from drowning are children 14 and younger.
- A child can drown in minutes in less than 2 inches of water.
- Ten people die every day from unintentional drowning in the United States.
- Only about 35% of Americans know how to swim, and only 2% to 7% swim well
And those are the facts, so teaching your child to swim needs to be top priority! If you can’t afford lessons, there are some programs with “scholarships” set up for children to learn this important survival skill. Click here for an interview I hosted with Comcast Newsmakers (Florida), where I interviewed a woman who runs the “Swim for Jenny” memorial fund in South Florida. It was created to help children learn how to swim so tragedy like drowning does not occur.
We really enjoy and look forward to taking our boys to swim class. First, it gives us (and them) great 1 on 1 time without the distractions of things like the television, computer, phone, etc… Second, it’s a fun activity to do while they are young (and the younger the better when it comes to learning how to swim). Third, it gets them tired, so you can expect them to take a nice nap after class. Lastly, watching them develop and learn the skill of swimming, going under water and holding their breathe is a pretty cool thing!
I look at it like a fun family activity…I know I’ve always wished I was a better swimmer, so I’m excited to give my kids the opportunity to learn early in life. Now, you can’t expect a child to learn in a handful of lessons, it’s something that needs to be repeated and practiced continually, before you can be sure they know how to swim. So, we plan to keep them in class for a while, but we know that it’s a life saving investment. Oh and one more thing…don’t forget to pack post-class snacks, as they are sure to work up an appetite!