What’s the best age to start swim lessons?
As a parent, it can be difficult to know when it’s best to start your child in swim lessons. Is it better to wait until they’re older, or can they really begin to learn life-saving skills while they’re still young? How much can a child benefit from lessons when they can’t even speak yet?
At Little Kickers, our research and experience has led us to believe that the earlier, the better! We provide one-on-one lessons with infants as young as 5 months old, as a child can stabilize their heads at that age. According to the American Red Cross, 200 children drown every single year in backyard pools, not to mention that drowning is the leading cause of injury death among children aged 1–4 years (CDC).
While infants and children should always be supervised in and around the pool as accidents can happen to any child no matter the skill level, our infants begin to learn valuable skills that will help them later on, such as learning to grab and hold onto the wall, learning the muscle memory of how to pull themselves out of the water as well as how to go under water with their mouths closed to as to prevent water aspiration. Lessons for our youngest Little Kickers also focus on learning the motion of kicking their legs, reaching and swimming with assistance toward pool toys, and forming important positive associations in the water.
Once a child is older, they are more likely to develop serious fears and anxieties about being in the water. While we still see great progress with these children in our one-on-one lessons, it’s much easier for a child to learn essential life-saving skills if they are comfortable in the water already. Starting your child in swim lessons young can help with that! Additionally, it can help with socialization and important cognitive development for your child. Research has also shown that children with spectrum and attention-classified disorders can greatly benefit from being in the water and learning to master new skills.
So the short answer is, swimming can benefit your child at any age, but we believe it’s the earlier, the better!
(But don’t take our word for it :D)
Our daughter began swim lessons when she was ten months old with Bailey, and we couldn’t be happier! Bailey is so calm and friendly, and it’s made our daughter feel very comfortable in the water. We are going to continue lessons going forward and are excited to see all the progress our Little Kicker makes!—Ashley R
My daughter Sophie now 8 months joined little kickers swim lessons at 6 months. After just a few weeks she fell in love with the water, kicking and floating and putting her face under water with no worries. Highly encourage parents to get the young ones in the pool early with little kickers. – Kate F.
I am amazed by how much progress my son has made. He started lessons at 9 months old and went from crying when the lesson started to now crying because it’s over. He is now 13 months old and can swim underwater between instructors. Basically as he was learning to walk, he has been learning to swim. If you are looking for a swim school, check out Little Kickers! —Anna N.
Borreli, L. (2016). 4 brain benefits of swimming: Improved blood flow boosts cognitive function, alleviates depression symptoms. Medical Daily. From http://www.medicaldaily.com/4-brain-benefits-swimming-improved-blood-flow-boosts-cognitive-function-402385.
Pan, C. (2010). Effects of water exercise swimming program on aquatic skills and social behaviors in children with autism spectrum disorders. Autism, 14(9), pp. 9-28.