Parenthood is full of questions and seemingly endless decision making. When it comes to learning to swim and water safety, we’re your partner in getting answers. We’ll share our thoughts and expertise on some common questions parents ask.
Trying to decide when to start swim lessons for your child? The good news is that any time is the right time!
According to the AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics), drowning is one of the leading causes of injury-related death in children. That’s a scary statistic for any parent. We understand that fear may paralyze a parent from acting or cause parents to feel overwhelmed not knowing where to start with selecting the right program for their family.
We’re here to empower you with information needed to decide when it's best to enroll your kids in swim lessons and explore how Big Blue can help.
Starting Swim Lessons
If you are pregnant or have a newborn or infant, you may think it’s too early to be thinking about water safety. If you have a preschooler or elementary school-aged child, you may be worried you’ve missed the boat. The good news is that no matter the age, it’s always a good time to start swim lessons or start planning for them.
Previous expert recommendations included starting swim lessons by age 4. Now, the AAP encourages parents to consider swim lessons for children beginning by age 1 to create good water safety habits and prepare your child for swim readiness. Recent research shows swim lessons that include water survival skills help reduce the risk of drowning for toddlers and preschoolers by as much as 88%.
Swim Lessons for Your 6 Month - 3 Year Old: All About Comfort
For infants, toddlers, and early preschoolers, swim lessons bring comfort in and around the water. Comfort in the water, from the feel of the water on their face to trusting the water to be able to float, are essential to building confidence. Exiting the water safely is reinforced, too. And even the youngest children can practice the fundamentals of swimming: breath control, balance, and movement.
During this time, a trusted adult like a parent, guardian, or caregiver is in the water with a child during swim lessons. All swim lessons for 6 month - 3 year olds at the Baby Blue level at Big Blue follow this recommendation. It’s a wonderful chance to spend time together!
As your child learns to walk, talk, and understand instruction, they’ll also start to develop independence in the water. At Big Blue, the culmination of swim lessons at the Baby Blue includes swimming 3 feet independently! Of course, if your child can tackle the skills and is ready for more before age 3, they can move up and beyond Baby Blue before 3 years of age. Assessing the individual ensures your child continually makes progress with us.
Have a child this age? Check out our Baby Blue curriculum.
Swim Lessons for Your 3 - 5 Year Old: All About Confidence
Taking into consideration individual development and limitations, most children are ready to start working on water safety and survival skills during their preschool years. Breath control, balance, and kicking to float and get to safety are all developmentally appropriate skills to be working on with this fun age group.
Parents or guardians aren’t in the pool for these lessons but can hear all about how their child confidently submerged their face in the water or mastered the perfect flutterkick on their way to moving forward independently. And if you don’t hear it from your child, you’ll see what skills they’ve accomplished on your Parent Portal.
At Big Blue, young swimmers enjoy learning through games, songs, and stories. Fun and colorful pool toys and teaching tools help, too. By the end of Bright Blue, swimmers are perfecting their flutter kick and moving forward independently!
Have a child this age? Check out our Bright Blue curriculum.
Swim Lessons for Your 6-Year-Old and Up: All About Continued Practice and Challenge
As kids grow and get stronger, they are more in tune with their bodies and can build the endurance to really swim strong and efficiently. We like to call this swimming as an activity.
By age 5 or 6, they’re also ready to start developing stroke technique. We understand children can start swimming, or progress through lessons, at a unique pace. That’s why, for children 6 years and up, we have two curriculum levels to start at and progress through.
Kids graduating from Bright Blue or joining us new at 6 jump into Bold Blue, working to gain comfort and practice flutter kick, rhythmic breathing, and push offs. They build on drills and new skills to learn freestyle, and there’s also an introduction to butterfly, breaststroke, and backstroke.
After mastering the Bold Blue skills, more experienced or skilled swimmers refine all four strokes and build endurance at the Big Blue level. We’re building to tackle the big challenge of swimming 1,000 feet independently without stopping or touching the bottom of the pool!
Whether your school-age child is ready for Bold Blue or Big Blue, we’re ready to help champion and celebrate their learning and progress.