How to Improve Your Child’s Swimming

By in Health & Safety on 21 July 2010

Swimming is a wonderful summertime activity. It is fun as well as being great exercise. Unfortunately, not all children know how to swim well. Here are some ideas on how to improve your child’s swimming this summer.

If you’re not comfortable in the water, your children might not be either. It is important for everyone to learn to swim well enough to save their own life. If you don’t think you can teach them this skill, consider hiring someone else to do it.

Most public swimming pools will offer swimming lessons throughout the year. Some of the classes will be offered through the National Swimming Program; others will be offered through the American Red Cross. There are often different levels of classes so your child can improve on their skill each year. In fact, most swimming instructors will recommend continuing the classes to ensure your child learns the skills they need and is then introduced to new skills as time passes.

Obviously one of the main reasons for teaching your child to swim, whether you or someone else does the teaching, is to teach your child water safety. The child needs to learn to become a safer and better swimmer. The skill they’ll learn through the American Red Cross Aquatic Program is as follows:

  • Parent and Child class is designed for children six months and older. It teaches parents to interact with their children in the water. Songs are used to teach children and help them feel more comfortable with the skills they’re learning. This class will teach them to blow bubbles in the water (putting their face in the water), floating in a semi-back position, learning how to move their arms and how to kick.
  • Introduction to Water Skills class helps children feel comfortable about being in the water. They learn basic swimming movements (arm and leg and how to use them together), how to float on their back and front, and how to enter water safely. They also learn how to use water safety jackets, basic water safety, and how to recognize a swimmer in distress.
  • Fundamental Aquatic Skills helps children learn to tread water, submerging their head, and breath control, as well as different floating methods and gliding.
  • Stroke Development class reinforces what they’ve already learned and teaches them how to combine skills. They also learn different kicks and rotary breathing as well as kneeling or standing dives.
  • Stroke Improvement will develop the child’s stroke and improve their other skills in the water. Backstroke, breaststroke and butterfly stroke are refined.
  • Stroke Refinement class continues to improve the child’s swimming stroke as well as endurance in strokes. They will also learn new standing dives as well as turns.
  • Fitness Swimmer class refines strokes improving efficiency, power and smoothness in swimming over distances.

Once your child has finished all the levels of American Red Cross Swimming classes, they will know how to swim well enough to save their own life, and maybe even someone else’s. Classes are the best way to improve your child’s swimming. It is a skill that can change your child’s life and it is a skill they’ll be able to enjoy for years to come.

1 Comments For This Post

  1. Karen Murphy says:

    Thanks for the article.

    It’s so important to teach kids to swim. Kids can drown in less than 20 seconds, and according to the CDC, 75% of little kids who drown had been seen by a parent less than 5 minutes before they were found.

    You mention swimming lessons as one way to keep kids safe. I think you’re absolutely right. Learning to swim and follow safety rules, having adult supervision, and a physically safe environment (think a well maintained and effectively gated pool) are the trifecta of preventing tragic accidents around the pool.

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