So many kids here on Long Island enroll in swim programs to learn how to swim and how to swim well. Living on an actual island provides kids with many opportunities to be in the water. Water provides great recreation but also some danger. That’s why for them, it’s a life skill.
Learning how to swim can be daunting for some kids.
The idea of submerging their head can be stressful while the thought of not being able to touch the pool floor or sea bed can be anxiety provoking. Many many years ago children would learn to swim at their local beach — a rocky walk into frigid water (while outside can be quite pleasant in June, it may take many weeks for the LI sound to catch up). Now, new programs such as Safe-T-Swim offer kids warm, low-depth, salt water pools in convenient locations.
Salt water offers a few benefits.
First, the addition of salt is an all natural solution for keeping the water clean. Second, salt water ensures that children are more buoyant in the water — in other words, it makes it easier to float, helping them gain confidence as they learn to swim. There are swim programs for everyone from ages 3 and up. A swim lesson usually runs about 45 minutes and parents may or may not be permitted to watch or participate. Some programs want parents in the pool if the child is less than 48″ while others only permit the parent to watch the first and last lessons (this allows the parents to see the progress their child has made since the start of the session).
Once your child has learned how to swim it’s important to……go swimming!
Find a local pool or one of Long Island’s beautiful beaches. Take the plunge while also pointing out some pre-swim measures that you should take prior to swimming. Some suggestions are:
- Let’s make sure that someone can see us — we should never swim alone.
- Just a sec – I have to make sure that I have sunscreen on. Don’t want to get burned!
- Whoops, almost forgot to use the restroom. Let’s go now before we get in and don’t want to get out!
While you may want to see all that your child’s learned, (s)he might not want to show off their new skills. That’s ok….go ahead, play Marco Polo or create your own stroke. Enjoy being comfortable in the water and you’ll find that eventually your child’s going to want to swim laps or race you….and that’s when you’ll start looking for swim programs.