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Pool Season Will Be Here Before You Know it. Do Your Kids Know How to Swim?

Pool Season Will Be Here Before You Know it. Do Your Kids Know How to Swim?

8th Jan 2024

In the middle of January, summer can seem very far away. Soon enough, however, you’ll be getting ready to open up your pool or head for a vacation on the beach or by the lake.

Swim season will be here before you know it and when it comes, you’ll be ready. But will your children?

According to a Harris Poll survey conducted in 2023 for Leslie’s Pools and published in Pool Magazine, nearly 36% of U.S. adults said they can’t swim and nearly half of parents said their children under age 18 don't know how to swim.

This is concerning for a number of reasons. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), drowning is the leading cause of accidental death in children under age 4. Most of those drownings occur in swimming pools.

A child’s ability to swim can vary depending on the family’s ethnic or economic background.

The USA Swimming Foundation reported "79% of children in households with incomes less than $50,000 have little-to-no swimming ability. Nearly 64% of African-American, 45% of Hispanic/Latino and 40% of Caucasian children” can’t swim well or at all. This puts them at greater risk for drowning.

In fact, the CDC notes that, “in swimming pools, Black children ages 10-14 years drown at rates 7.6 times higher than White children.”

Swimming is a Life Skill

Swimming is a sport, but it is also a life skill. As the British organization notes, “swimming is the only sport which can save your child’s life.”

In fact, learning how to swim can reduce a child’s chances of drowning by up to 88%.

People who can swim can more easily and safely enjoy other water sports, such as boating, kayaking, paddle boarding, snorkeling and surfing.

Once you learn to swim, you rarely forget. Plus, swimming is a sport you can enjoy even into old age.

children in sunglasses using colorful pool rings to paddle in the water

Swimming is Good Exercise

In winter, there may be fewer opportunities for kids to go outside and play. The good news is, swimming is great exercise! Swimming strengthens muscles and lungs, improves endurance, coordination and confidence.

From reducing stress to building character, swimming benefits little bodies and minds as well as any other form of exercise or sports participation.


At What Age Can Children Learn to Swim?

Babies and parents may benefit from the social interaction of “Mommy and Me” style swimming classes. However, such classes should be considered more water readiness sessions than swimming lessons.

The American Academy of Pediatrics says children as young as 12 months can learn how to swim. Before enrolling a child in swim school, parents should gauge their child’s readiness, maturity and comfort level in the water.

Even after kids master basic swimming skills, there should always be an adult or experienced swimmer on watch whenever a child is around water. Block access to pools when they are not in use.

Where Can Kids Learn to Swim?

Once you start looking, you’ll likely find several places offering swimming lessons for kids. These can include:

If you can’t afford swimming lessons for your child, contact community resources in your area or search the internet for “swimming lessons near me.” Municipal swim projects may offer no- or low-cost kids swimming lessons or swimming scholarships to teach this life saving skill.

Winter is the Perfect Time to Take Swim Lessons

The right time to learn a skill like swimming is before you need it.

Enrolling in swim classes early in the year gives kids time to get used to the water and develop their skills. In a few months, they’ll have the basic abilities necessary to enjoy summer pool parties and beach vacations.

It may be cold outside right now, but the water at your local swim center is warm!

Teaching children to swim is a valuable skill that can keep them safer in and around water. Plus, swimming is great exercise and it’s fun!

While you’re visiting Pool Central, check out our selection of Learn to Swim gear, including children’s floats, life vests, swim vests and pool toys.  

You may also like:  
Safety First: Safety in the Water is a Pool Owner’s First Priority  
School’s Out, Swimming is In: 10 Important Pool Rules for Kids  


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