Learn to Swim

Swimming

A Skill and Sport for Life

Learning to swim significantly reduces the risk of drowning. Drowning is the 2nd leading cause of unintentional injury death for children under 14, with the highest rates among children ages 1-4. Whether or not you plan to head to the pool, water is all around us - in rivers, lakes, drainage ditches, bathtubs, and even large puddles. By equipping your child with the lifesaving skill of swimming you'll be opening doors to a lifetime of fun, fitness, and even employment opportunities!  And did you know, children can participate in swimming lessons before they can walk? Parent/child swim lessons provide water safety education and bonding opportunities that can last a lifetime.

Looking for lessons?

USA Swimming makes it easy for parents to identify swim lesson providers who meet or exceed industry best practices. Simply look for the blue pin in the finder.
Why Should My Child Learn to Swim?

Because learning to swim significantly reduces the risk of drowning! Drowning is the 2nd leading cause of unintentional injury or death for children under 14, with the highest rates among children ages 1-4.

 

Whether or not you plan to head to the pool, water is all around us - in rivers, lakes, drainage ditches, bathtubs, and even large puddles. By equipping your child with the lifesaving skill of swimming you'll be opening doors to a lifetime of fun, fitness, and even employment opportunities!

 

When Are My Children Ready for Swim Lessons?

Children can participate in swimming lessons before they can walk! Parent/child swim lessons provide water safety education and bonding opportunities that can last a lifetime.

 

In the years to follow, your child will be prepared to continue swim lessons on their own with an instructor; most lesson providers do not require parents to get in the water beyond the toddler years, however it is strongly encouraged that parents observe their child’s swimming skill development from a designated viewing area.

 

Choosing a Swim Lesson Provider

Finding a Swim Lesson Provider
  • Use our Find A Team & Lessons Page to search for a swim lesson provider near you.
  • Ask questions and visit the program!
  • Ask those in your community where they take their children for swim lessons
  • Visit the facility with your child to see how swim lessons are run
  • Ask who your child’s teacher will be and whether it’s possible to meet them in advance
  • Ask what the program expectations are for you as a parent/guardian
  • Ask about the provider’s program or learn-to-swim philosophy
Make sure they observe and apply the following industry best practices:
  • A nationally recognized learn-to-swim curriculum (e.g. Red Cross, YMCA, Swim America, Starfish Aquatics Institute) or an independently developed learn-to-swim curriculum that follows a similar model
  • Trained/certified instructors, with on-deck lifeguards holding current CPR and First Aid certifications
  • A maximum 6:1 student-to-instructor ratio for group lessons
  • Minimum of 30 minutes per week of in-water instruction, for a minimum total in-water instruction time of four (4) hours
  • Written and practiced Emergency Action Plans for each facility
  • Operate in a facility regulated by the Department of Health or similar government agency
  • Have established and practiced child-protection policies in place
  • Conduct background checks on all staff

Did you know?

No child is ever water safe. The goal of swim lessons is to make children SAFER in, on, and around water. 

79%
79% of children in households with incomes less than $50,000 have little-to-no swimming ability.
64%
Research shows 64% of African American, 45% of Hispanic/Latino, and 40% of Caucasian children have little to no swimming ability.
10
10 People drown each day in the United States
88%
Formal swimming lessons reduces the likelihood of childhood drowning by 88%

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