Swimming for kids: Benefits - Best age to start - Cost of lessons
Swimming for kids: To some extent, water is our native element, and that is why swimming is so popular among both adults and children.
If you are looking for a non-traumatic sport for your child, which will strengthen his health and harden not only his body but also his character, then swimming for children is your choice.
In this article, for kids plus will tell you all information you need to know about swimming for kids.
How much does swimming lessons cost? What is the right age to start teaching your kids to swim? What are the benefits of swimming and also the drawbacks? What are the medical contraindications? And how to choose the swimming trainer and club?
What is the best age to start swimming lessons for kids?
Talking about the optimal age to start swimming lessons for kids, it is necessary to differentiate between two types of training:
- to send a child to the swimming pool to learn swimming just for fun or
- to send him to swim as apart of a sports program.
In the first case, this can be done already in infancy – the so-called infant swimming can be started (under the strict supervision of an instructor!) Even in 5 months with some movements like floating on back.
Of course, the infant will not yet learn how to swim, but it will become clear whether he likes water and he will be able to get used to it or not.
Some assume that this early experience of swimming may reduce the risk of drowning among toddlers, but this is not true according to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).
Starting from 2-3 years, the child can gradually be taught to swim, but always in a playful way.
Experienced coaches insist that swimming should not be too serious until the age of five – let the child splash and play with water as he likes.
So the swimming pool will not turn into a punishment for the child and the baby will be able to truly love the water.
Professional swimming lessons for children optimally begin in 5-7 years. At this age, the child becomes more coordinated, able to concentrate and able to understand what the coach wants from him.
The children begin to learn to swim consciously and even if they already know how to float, you need to add the right technique and style.
Benefits of swimming for kids
Swimming is so useful for physical and mental health as it is considered not only as a sport but also as a kind of leisure and a therapeutic method.
So, let’s see the advantages of swimming for kids.
1. Strengthening immunity
Swimming is one of the most effective forms of increasing the child’s immunity.
With regular exercises in the swimming pool, the mechanisms of thermoregulation are improved, and the body learns to adapt quickly to the changes in the external environment.
You can forget about seasonal colds of a child.
2. Stress relief
Swimming in water is always positive emotions. If your child is restless, very active or aggressive, swimming will allow him to release excess energy and will provide a natural calming effect.
3. Physical development
Practically all muscle groups are involved in swimming, arms, legs, and back. Such a uniform load forms a harmonious and proportional figure, improves posture and increases endurance.
4. Disease prevention
Swimming lessons prevent the curvature of the spine, the development of flatfoot and the occurrence of excess weight in a child.
5. Benefits for the body
Swimming improves the respiratory, cardiovascular, circulatory and nervous systems, which in turn strengthens the health of a small athlete in a comprehensive manner.
6. Character formation
Swimming training for kids with an instructor in the swimming pool involves discipline.
Being engaged in swimming professionally, the child will learn to be attentive, responsible and hardworking, to understand the tasks assigned to him, to lose and win.
Disadvantages of swimming for kids
Although swimming is one of the most suitable sports for kids, still have a few drawbacks.
1. Frequent common cold
Despite the fact that regular training in water strengthens the immune system, many young athletes still often catch a cold.
To avoid this, the child must take a warm shower and do some warming up exercises before the training.
In addition, carefully to wipe and completely to dry up hair after training. Warm clothes, scarf, and hat are obligatory in winter.
2. Asthma exacerbation
Since classes are always or almost always take place in a closed swimming pool, this means that several times a week a child breathes too humid air, most often with the smell of bleach.
If the child is prone to asthma or allergies, such conditions may increase this predisposition.
You can compensate for this by transferring at least part of the workouts, for example, during the warm season, to the open air, and even better – to natural water.
3. Chlorine effects
Finally, regular exposure to chlorine negatively affects the condition of the skin, nails, and hair.
This can be avoided by:
- choosing a swimming pool with a different type of water purification as salt water pools or
- taking precautions as (shower after each lesson, proper nutrition, high-quality cap, use of children’s nourishing cream, walking in fresh air, etc.)
The average cost of swimming lessons & equipment
Compared to other sports, swimming does not require large financial investments. The main items of expenditure are the swim lessons with a trainer plus 2 – 3 equipment.
Swimming Lessons cost
The cost of one paid class with a trainer in a public group starts from $30- $50 for a four-week session with one or two lessons per week up to $392 for a private seven lessons for a small group of students (Price is split between all participants) as in YMCA.
One-on-one private swimming lessons:
The cost varies according to the academy and whether you have a membership or not. The private lessons typically cost $40 – $330 per lesson.
For example, a 30-minute private lesson in Aqua buddies, Spitzer swimming, and YMCA costs around $40 for members.
Swimming equipment cost
The next item is equipment. You will need to buy:
away competitions cost
Finally, the last mandatory item is away competitions and fees.
The variation of their cost is very large, because it depends on the city or country, season and conditions of the club where your child is involved.
Difference between swimming for boys and girls
Swimming for children is a gender-neutral sport: the percentage of boys and girls is approximately equal. Therefore, gender is not a criterion for choosing this sport.
The only exception is synchronized swimming – only girls can play it.
The character and personality of the child are more important than gender since they will determine exactly what type of swimming is suitable for the young athlete.
- So, if your child loves communication, easily finds a common language with other children and feels more confident in the team, water polo will suit him.
- If you see the leadership in your child or he does not like to share his achievements with someone else, so it is better for him to start the individual swimming or water jumping sport.
- Is your daughter artistic, attentive and feeling good about her body? She is perfect for a beautiful and spectacular synchronized swimming.
Medical contraindications of swimming
Swimming is one of the safest and healthiest sports but still has a number of medical contraindications.
Therefore you cannot let your child practice it if he has one of the following diseases:
- skin diseases (dermatitis, eczema) and infections (scabies);
- spinal injuries;
- congenital heart disease;
- heart diseases;
- Some disorders of the musculoskeletal system.
The child must be healthy and have a strong immunity to be fit to swim.
So, before sending your child to a swimming pool, be sure to consult your doctor.
Choice of swimming academy - instructor -lessons
The most important thing in teaching child swimming is a good swimming pool and an experienced coach. You should rely on these two criteria when choosing a swim academy or a sports school.
Choosing a swimming academy
Regardless of whether your child will be engaged in synchronized or individual swimming, the pool must be clean.
Pay attention not only to the condition of the water – it can be perfectly disinfected-, but also to the main source of fungi and other infections which lies in the “contact” places (boards, ladders and so on).
If they even visually look dirty, it is better to choose another pool.
Choosing a swimming instructor
Take a closer look at the coach’s work: how he interacts with children, what parents say about him, what kind of atmosphere prevails in the class and how well safety is controlled.
If little swimmers leave their workout in a good mood, this is a good sign.
Also remember that the smaller the group, the more effective the classes, and the children in it should be roughly about the same age and level of training.
Swimming for children is one of the healthiest and safest forms of physical activity.
Regular classes in the pool will provide the child with good health and a harmoniously developed body, and the water will give emotional relaxation.
A variety of water disciplines allows you to choose the one that suits your child, whether he is an active extrovert or a purposeful individualist.
Regardless of whether you are going to make your child a world champion in swimming or you want him to be engaged just for fun, swimming will help him to become hardened, resilient and brave.
- YMCA - Price of swimming classes.
- Health line - infant swimming - what are the benefits?
- Verywell family - When to start swimming lessons for kids?
- Griffith University - A research about the relationship between swimming and cognitive and physical abilities of children.
- Groupon - Cost of swimming lessons and schools.