I have been swimming since before I can remember, and I’m so thankful my parents made swimming lessons a priority when we were young. Summers and vacations were much easier on my parents; they no longer worried about pools and beaches, knowing we wouldn’t drown if we fell in or dove into the water. The truth is, water is everywhere, even places as small as a bathtub, so learning how to swim and float is essential for our children’s safety and our peace of mind, too.
The benefits of exposing babies and toddlers to early swim lessons are endless, with the greatest advantage of giving your child total control in the water. Knowing how to swim, or participating in swimming lessons, builds a solid foundation of water safety, concepts that children can learn and remember as early as one year old.
Emotionally-speaking, swimming with your little can deepen your emotional bond. Swimming with your child, whether you are teaching lessons or swimming leisurely, provides your little with a feeling of connection and emotional nourishment, not to mention – it’s a fun activity to do together! For parents with two, like myself, do not feel discouraged about taking your duo to the pool alone or having to divide your attention. I employ a float for one child while holding the other. We have a blast, and we remain safe.
Additionally, teaching your littles to swim will give them a newfound sense of independence and confidence! They will feel empowered from adapting to their new surrounding and accomplished by taking on a new feat!
The physical and emotional benefits of teaching your littles to swim are endless, and the health benefits are incredible, too! Swimming offers a challenging, exciting, low-impact “workout” for your children. Water-based exercises improve joint usage and involve moving several different muscle groups which helps tremendously with asthma. Swimming is less likely to trigger asthma symptoms. Plus, lung capacity will improve and so will their overall fitness. Swimming develops stamina, flexibility, and strength, as the water provides gentle resistance to our little swimmers. Their sensory experience is peaked, and they essentially become more coordinated as they learn different movements and strokes.
From daily bath time sessions to traveling to places with a pool, beach, or another body of water, swimming lessons for your littles are a must. While the physical and emotional benefits of swimming are immeasurable, the fact of the matter is, priceless lives cannot be put at risk; even a small, shallow body of water can lead to drowning.
Both of my girls love the water, and I attribute that to their early introduction to pools and oceans. They just can’t seem to get enough!
If you would prefer a professional instructor to teach your little to swim, there are great options at local pools. I've listed a few resources in the D.C. area, and I hope you find one that works best for your family!
William H. Rumsey Aquatic Center
Takoma Aquatic Center
Deanwood Aquatic Center
Enjoy your summer, and I hope you make tons of amazing memories in the water with your littles!