It is never too early nor too late to start swimming lessons. Swimming is a fantastic skill that can be used for recreation, health, and safety all at once!
The question we are here to answer is ‘what is the best age to start swimming lessons?’
Before we get into that, let us say that exposing your child to the water at a young age is great. By four months old, your infant child is ready to start getting used to the water. Obviously, you can’t teach a four-month-old child to swim. However, letting them get used to the water will go a long way toward giving them the confidence to take swimming lessons in the future.
If you would like to know what the best age to start swimming lessons is, then take a look below!
General Estimated Age
The global overall estimate for the best age to start swimming lessons is four years old. The reason behind this number is that studies have shown that children who start taking lessons before the age of four tend to end up at the same level even when they reach five or six years of age with a child who started when they were four.
While the initial years in a child’s life are the time where habits are born, swimming is just not something that a child of that age can grasp. We aren’t certain whether the reason is that their bodies haven’t developed enough to coordinate in the water until they hit around four years old or if it is a matter of the mind.
Either way, the globally accepted ‘best age’ is four.
Just because the best age is considered to be four years old, it doesn’t mean that all swimming schools only take four years old and up. In fact, the majority of swimming schools will accept students as young as eight months.
If you do enroll your child of 8 months to three years old, you will need to participate alongside them. Children cannot be left alone with an instructor in the water at these ages, especially as none of them are aware of how to swim.
However, doing so can be a strong learning experience for both you and the child. Your child will learn to trust you in the water and you will be taught water safety skills to keep your child safe until they learn to swim on their own.
Benefits of Learning to Swim at a Young Age
Water Safety Experience for Both Child and Parent
As we just mentioned, swimming lessons for young children include one or both parents.
The swimming instructor will teach you essential water safety skills. These skills are to ensure that you can protect your child in the water. You also gain knowledge on how to save someone in distress as well, so it really is a huge advantage.
Early Exposure Reduces Likelihood of Fear
If your child is already used to being in the water at a young age, there is less chance of developing a fear of deep water. However, just because you expose your child to the water at a young age doesn’t mean they won’t be scared.
If your child is scared, take it slow and try to bring them closer every now and then. At the end of the day, if the child still doesn’t want to go near the water, you will have to wait until they’re older to try again.
Develops a Closer Bond Between the Child and Parent(s)
Since you will be holding your child throughout the lesson, they are sure to develop a secure bond with you. At first, most children are very afraid of being in the water. However, once they realize that you are more than capable of keeping them safe, they’ll feel a sense of security when around you.
These are some of the reasons why letting your child take swimming lessons at a young age is very beneficial. If you don’t wish to take your child swimming as an infant, try to at least enroll them in a swimming class when they reach the age of four. Happy swimming to us all!