How important is it for kids to learn how to swim?

Home Forums What’s New on Mumstown? How important is it for kids to learn how to swim?

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    Swimming is a skill that all kids should learn and a skill that remains with them throughout their lives; and a great form of exercise which promotes both health and social skills in young people. The aerobic exercise doesn’t place stress on developing joints and the water provides a therapeutic environments for children, including those with disabilities.
    One of the enduring images of the Paralympics was of swimmer Ellie Simmonds crying tears of joy as she overcame exhaustion and fatigue to beat her rivals to yet another gold medal. Ellie eptimosises the spirit of the Paralymics, overcoming adversity to become a world class sportswoman who has inspired a generation.

    Not surprisingly the 18 year old is a huge advocate for the sport of swimming, considering the opportunities it has given her in her life and last weekend she joined a number of other British swimmers to celebrate the role of swimming in the lives of ordinary Brits at the ASA Swimtastic Awards.

    Hosted by former Olympic swimmer and now commentator Steve Parry, the awards celebrated some of the country’s most outstanding non-elite achievements in the pool.

    Held every year, the awards recognise children, as well as those responsible for providing swimming lessons. The awards are divided into ten clear categories and recognise achievements made through the Kellogg’s ASA Awards Scheme.

    Watch our video to learn more about this year’s winners and see how Paralympians and Olympians, such as Ellie Simmons, have inspired people to get involved.

    Click to watch our video: [url:2aeej1nv][/url:2aeej1nv]


    I just want to add to this really good article. As an American coaching swimming in Ireland, I find that kids are much older here when they are first learning how to swim. I see many kids at 7, 8, and 9 years of age who cannot swim properly. Children as young as 4 years old are more than capable to jump in, have fun, and learn how to swim properly. I also find that children who spend extra time in the pool with their parents do much better than children who only rely on the once a week lessons. Play time in the water is so important to build confidence, and buildsimple skills like exhaling underwater. Swimming is a life long skill. Sign your children up for lessons and join them for some fun in the water, too! 🙂 Dana


    my 7 year old son cant swim, i tried the lessons with no joy! He refuses point blank to do lessons. He loves the water and he can do lenghts of the pool with a woggle (long float thingy)
    I asked did he want to do lessons, he said no he just wants to learn from Daddy not an insturctor.

    I think the problem over here is that that are good and bad instructors and if a child comes across a bad one at the age of 3 or 4! I think knowing how to swim is one of the most important things you can ever learn or teach your child, i could save your life someday


    Hi Taylor5! It sounds like your son is well on his way, and just might need some help with his confidence to give up that woggle. It is so true that an instructor with poor techniques can really turn a child against swimming. But there are some really good instructors out there, too. I think it would be helpful if you can get your son playing under the water in the shallow end; trying to sit on the bottom of the pool (you have to exhale your air!), have a tea party down there! Practice holding his breath and going under water. Then I’d focus on floating – a big starfish float on his back. If he can do this, then whenever he is in distress all he has to do is go on his back and rest in the float position. There are lots of little things you can do to help him along to leave the woggle behind. I hope this helps 🙂 Dana


    I think learning to swim is essential for everyone, especially for safety but also so you can have fun & enjoy water.

    My 5 year old son is also not a great fan on swimming lessons either but loves the water. On Holidays he was in the pool the whole time but had a swimming ring. We brought him to a dolphin show & afterwards he said he wanted to be a dolphin instructor when he grows up!!!l Anyway, Since we came home, i asked a family friend who is a swimming instructor to bring him swimming once a week & after just two weeks he is already swimming without an aid. I pay her but i havent told him its a lesson, he is just going swimming with a family friend. I knew he was so close to swimming without aids & i thought the individual attention would do him the world of good & it seems to be working, plus she is really good fun & he says he has great laugh with her. She did say he may find it a little harder to float as he is fairly thin, that was news to me.

    To be honest, my son has been at lesson since he was three years old & is progress was very slow, i havent found a good instructor yet. One took it way to serious, had no fun with the children, didnt seem to know who to deal with or encourage young children, Others the classes were too big & they didnt have time to give any of them proper attention & others just didnt care, it was just a job. Its a bit disheartening for a parent to keep paying out, for one swimming term after another, only for your child to be kept at the same level & making little progress.


    Our daughter is doing really well, she is 22 months old. she has been going for about a year and is coming on really well. She goes to Waterbabies and they are absolutely excellent.

    Our older children go to Aura in Drogheda and are all coming on well too. Our girls seem to be learning faster than our son – the girls have both moved up a class to the next level while our son is still on the same level. So I think each child learns at a different speed.

    We find the classes very good – its so important for kids to be able to swim.

    I remember being on holiday a few years ago and our daughter who was 3 or 4 at the time, climbed on a floaty bed and pushed herself out into the middle of the pool. She couldn’t swim at the time and it was terrifying how quickly she got herself into the middle of a pool that she would not have been able to stand in. We got her out before she even had a drop of water on her but the incident stayed with us and now we are making sure they get the lessons they need to give them the techniques they need to be safe in water.


    i’m not a strong swimmer and always wanted the girls to learn, took dd1 to parent & toddler lessons before i had dd2. We went on hol when dd1 was 4 and she LOVED the pool but was nervous tomove from the side sowe started lessons when we came back that was 2.5yrs ago – the different in her in the pool the follow year was amazing!!!!! – she’s on level 5 out of 10 and yes it can be dishearntening when they have to repeat levels but you know what she Loves the water and loves her lessons. We started dd2 after christmas and she’s on the 2nd level – she has come along in leaps and bounds even though she’s repeating level 2 – she’s only just turned 4 and i think the next term she’ll be well ready to move into the big pool.
    As long as it’s fun and there is some progress i’m happy for the girls to take their time learning – they’re enjoying it and learning a life skill and making friends too.

    Sabbi my two are in Aura Drogheda too


    My son is in Aura too, its well organised but in my opinion there are too many in each class.

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