Swimming is a fundamental skill that can be learnt by anyone at any age in their life. However, it is ideal to start young in order to instil this potentially life saving technique into your little one so that they can take it competently into their adult life. And from then on they will be able to know the importance of swimming to then go on to teach their child and grandchildren.
Whether you prefer to teach your little bundle of joy to swim one on one or have enrolled them into a crash course at your local pool, this post will cover all of the information needed ahead of time. From what you would need to pack for your child to how swimming lessons themselves are generally set up, this is your number one guide.
Why Swimming Lessons are a Must
Swimming is one of the most essential skills that you can teach your child, and pools offer a variety of courses to assist with this. There are a number of ways that this skill can evolve with your child over the years depending on how they take to it. Below are just a couple of ways that this can progress with your child:
- Regular public swims
- Competitive swimming
- Becoming a lifeguard
- Survival technique for workers on the water
Once they have learnt the basics of swimming, they could continue to attend public swims for fun and to keep up their fitness levels. This can also become a social event as they begin to become accustomed to the regular children and make friendship bonds. On the flip side, this could only be something that they like to do when they go on holiday. For example they would want to play in the pool a lot or go for a swim in the shallow part of the sea.
If they continue with swimming lessons after learning the basics the possibilities are endless. They could choose to pursue a career of competitive swimming, diving or synchronized swimming with friends. These paths could even one day lead them to the Olympics and will give them something to motivate them and push them to perfect their swimming techniques.
Alternatively they could respect the survival aspect of swimming and look at delving into a lifeguard course. On this course they will learn all they need to know to keep other swimmers safe when in the pool or at the beach. This also goes hand in hand with a job on the water, such as a sailor to ensure that they know how to survive in the worst case scenario and get themselves and their colleagues to safety.
What you Need to Bring
When preparing your child for their first swim, what will be on your mind to begin with is to make sure that you pack all of the necessary items for them. Most swimming baths will be able to advise you when signing up to the lessons if anything specific is needed for the selected course, however the listed below items are a general must-have to bring with you.
- Swimming clothes
- Arm bands or discs
- Shower essentials
At the baths there are often cubicles or stalls which your child can use to get changed into their swimwear before heading down to the pool. Or alternatively if they prefer, they can wear their costume underneath their clothes so that getting changed when they get there is more straight forward.
You should also bring them a towel for after they get out of the pool and then head to the showers to rinse the chlorine off. This is where you would also need to make sure that you bring some shower essentials for them such as shampoo and soap. It is not necessary for them to take a shower at the pool, they can easily take one when they get home – just make sure they are dried off as much as possible before putting their everyday clothes back on.
Goggles and armbands can often be purchased at the pool if you forget them on the day, but you can also get them from most sports stores for a low cost. Goggles help to keep your child’s eyes protected when in the water and avoid any irritation from the pool water which generally contains chlorine. This tool also allows them to feel confident about opening their eyes underwater. Armbands are an essential for allowing them to gain confidence when treading water to keep afloat. And there are also special boards which can also be used alongside these.
Some venues will provide things such as armbands and floating devices for beginners, however it will be worth checking at the reception beforehand as you do not want to arrive under prepared. There may also be a requirement for your child to wear a swim cap if their hair is relatively long in order to keep it out of their faces when in the water.
It is also required at most swimming baths that if your child has anything such as a verruca on their foot at that point in time, that a special water sock is worn. This can be purchased from the pool reception if needed but you can also get these at most sports stores and supermarkets. Although, this may come off as embarrassing for your child, this is only a precaution to reduce the likelihood of the infection spreading on the cold and damp flooring outside of the pool.
If the lesson means that you have to re-schedule your mealtimes, it is ideal that you bring a snack and a drink for your child after they have exercised in the pool. Avoiding them eating before taking part in their lesson is preferred as it eliminates any cramps occurring when in the water which could become serious.
Start your Child on their Swimming Journey now!
After reading the tips above, we hope that you are now able to be certain that your child will be well prepared in advance of their swimming lessons. As discussed above there are a range of equipment that you may need to bring yourself, however most venues would have a reception where these items can be purchased if you were to forget them, so it is not the end of the world. We also recommend that you call the pool in advance of the lesson with any queries regarding equipment or scheduling to make sure their first lesson runs smoothly.
Get in touch with us over on our social media pages and let us know how your child got on at their swimming lesson! And we would love to hear your feedback if any of these tips mentioned above helped you prepare.
Over on the Sports Fitness website you are able to purchase children’s swimwear and accessories to kit your child out in advance of their lesson all in one place.
This article was written exclusively for Sports Fitness by Loren Astbury