Swimming is the best form of exercise as it involves all the muscles down from your shoulder to the toes. And the head sitting over the shoulders would be in complete command during the exercise. As a caring parent, you’d surely want to introduce your child to swimming lessons early in their life. It helps them become physically fit and also adds to their mental strength. Naturally, you will need to choose a good institution where your child will be able to pick up the skills first, learn the right skills and that too from seasoned trainers. It goes without saying that you need to be choosy and here we take a look at some of the things that you need to consider when it comes to choosing baby and toddler swimming lessons –
• Infrastructure – Infrastructure plays a very important role in your child’s learning. As a thumb rule, you need to make sure that the swimming pool is 50 meters in length or Olympic size as this is required for training at a professional level. As with a good training facility, this pool should also be customizable to try out different kinds of training programs and training methods. However, what is perhaps even more important is a warm water pool. Most children enjoy the warmth inside a warm water pool and this is ideal for the initial lessons and also with getting your child acclimatized to the whole activity.
• Instructor Student Ratio – When you are searching for baby and toddler swimming lessons this is the first thing you need to have your eyes on. A good institute will have anything from 1:4 to 1:6 Instructor-Student ratios. There are two reasons you need to consider this ratio seriously – first is the kind of attention your child is likely to receive. This is important as toddlers tend to pick up lessons at a different pace and your child is likely to need personalized attention which is possible when there are few students under an instructor. Second, of course, is the safety of your child and higher the ratio your child would be exposed to more risks.
• Pool Safety – We have mentioned about the safety of your child in the earlier point and pool safety is surely the most important concern you need to have. The venue and the pools should be maintained on a regular basis and safety audits done to ensure there are no safety hazards for your child. Also, the pools should be well-maintained since many of the kids would be swimming around with their nappies. The management should ensure that all the kids going into the pool wear swimming grade nappies to prevent the outbreak of infection and other diseases.
• In-water Session – How much time shall the child spend in the water? This is one of the questions you need to ask before you enroll your child for the swimming lessons. Swimming isn’t taught in theory lessons and surely not to a toddler full of energy who would be eager to get inside the pool. Professional lessons keep them in water for the entire duration of the classes apart from a few safety instructions in the beginning. As your child gets to spend more time in the water they start to pick up skills faster.
• Flotation Devices – You may think flotation devices are good for kids as they would keep your toddler from harm’s way. In reality, they are counterproductive as they simply come in the way of your child picking up the skills of swimming using their own body. In many cases, the child becomes completely dependent on these devices and it becomes impossible to unlearn this habit. This often results in poor swimming skills or in worst cases acts as a barrier from learning how to swim at all. Avoid lessons that focus on using flotation devices.
• Advancements – Baby and toddler swimming lessons are divided into different levels. This is done to make sure every child picks up all the skills at one level before graduating to the next. As and when your child masters skills at one level he/she will have to start lessons for the next level. This is where you need to make sure that there is no break or delay between lessons or you are forced to wait for a new session to begin. These breaks often disrupt the rhythm for the child and can lead to loss of skills.
When you keep these things in mind you will be able to choose the right baby and toddler swimming lessons. You must remember that the lessons you choose should help your child develop strong swimming skills in a phased manner. Not every swimming school would be able to offer you the same kind of lessons. Choose the best and see your child’s skills evolve in the pool.
Summary: In this write-up, we discuss some of the things that you need to keep in mind when it comes to choosing baby and toddler swimming lessons.