Have you signed your child up for swimming lessons yet? Children as young as one-year-old can begin getting comfortable in the water. Swimming is an essential skill that your child absolutely must have, and here are five reasons why.
You Can’t Always Save Them
If you think your child will be safe in the water because you’ll always be right by their side, then think again. Eventually your kids need to learn to be independent and not have to rely on you for everything, and swimming is no different. If anything happens to your child, you won’t always be able to help them. In the ocean, a riptide could carry you away from them. Many people also underestimate how difficult it is to save someone who is drowning or panicking in the water.
A Lifeguard Isn’t a Guarantee
You should also never rely on a lifeguard to save your child’s life if they get into trouble in the water. While most lifeguards are competent, attentive, and efficient, not all are. And even the best lifeguards might have something that prevents them from spotting or saving your child. Most importantly, there isn’t always a lifeguard around. Even if you only go to guarded beaches or pools, there aren’t lifeguards at friends’ houses or at many vacation pools or beaches.
Riptides Are Deadly
Ocean riptides are very strong currents that can surprise and endanger even the best swimmers in the world. Riptides are unpredictable, and they can sweep you up so quickly that you need to act immediately if you hope to get back to shore. If your child is in the ocean, they absolutely must know how to swim, just in case they’re swept away in a strong current. Also, not just any type of swimming will save them; in a riptide, they need to know special techniques to cope.
Statistics Don’t Lie
According to the Center for Disease Control, drowning is the second-leading cause of death in children ages 1-4; congenital birth defects is the first-leading case. In children ages 1-14, drowning is the second-leading cause of accidental death, behind car crashes. These statistics are scary, and they are true. The fact is that drowning is one of the most common causes of death in children. Many more drowning incidents aren’t fatal but require long-term hospitalization and recovery. Children who know how to swim are less likely to drown in the water.
It Will Increase Their Confidence
Besides the ultra-important safety reasons for needing to know how to swim, children should also learn because having the skill is a great confidence booster. Children who take lessons in sports or other classes, often have more confidence than those that don’t. Children who learn how to swim will feel more confident in themselves overall, because they’ll be proud of their ability to master a skill. They’ll also be more confident in the water, which will make them enjoy themselves more as they grow up and attend pool parties or beach vacations.
Julie Myers, an employee of the Center for Disease Control dedicates her free time to provide helpful parenting advice for raising healthy children.