Learning to swim can reduce the risk of drowning by 88% if children participate in formal swimming lessons between ages 1 – 4*. It can also improve sleep quality, increase cognitive skills development and offer a healthy activity for growing bodies+.
Sounds great, but where do you start? It is important to find a swim school that fits the needs of the student and your family. Here are some things to look for as you search to find that fit.
- developmentally and age appropriate activities and learning
- a positive and fun environment that focuses on the needs of the learner
- small class sizes for young children and beginners as well as shorter lessons in warm water for young children
- progressive development with rewards along the way to keep your swimmer motivated and excited to learn, remember learning to swim is a process
- a friendly and helpful staff that is inclusive and strives to meet your family’s needs, one that includes parents in the process
- a safe environment with vigilant supervision by staff with completed background checks, proper use of equipment and water safety training included in lessons
- well qualified staff with ongoing training
- a clean facility that includes clear, well sanitized water
- professionalism, including participation in a national association such as the US Swim School Association
Here are some questions you can use to get you started as you visit swim schools in your area:
- What is your instructor to child ratio?
- How long is each lesson?
- How do you determine what level my child should start at?
- What tools do you use to keep students motivated and excited to learn?
- How often do you review water safety with students and with parents?
- What first aid and safety equipment do you have onsite?
- Can parents watch the lesson (or if a young child, do the parents participate with the child in the lesson)?
- Are all staff over 18 background checked?
- How often do instructors receive training? What certifications do instructors hold?
- How often is your pool water checked for proper levels to maintain clean water?
- What organizations does your swim school participate in?
There are many swim schools that offer year-round lessons, so today is a great day to start your search and get signed up. You can find a list of schools in your area by visiting: https://www.usswimschools.org/find-a-school/
*Archives of Pediatric & Adolescent Medicine 2014
+Griffith Study 2013