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Choosing the right swimming lessons for your child



6 things to remember when choosing a swim school

Kids at the pool, swim lessons

Learning how to swim is just one of the many life lessons parents need to teach their kids when they are young, but simply having a neighbor who used to work as a lifeguard provide instruction or signing up for a class at the local YMCA may not be the best option.

Just as parents interview pediatricians and get references for preschools and babysitters, research also needs to be done when selecting a swim class for kids. Not only do swim instructors need to be certified in CPR and have gone through swim teacher training courses, there is also standard curriculum that needs to be taught depending on a child¹s age and skill level.

[Read more: How water smart is your child?]

The United States Swim School Association recommends that parents consider the following when selecting a swim school or lesson program for their children:

1. Parents are advised to take the time to visit the swim school or swim program prior to enrolling their child in lessons.  

2. Watch to see how the children in those lessons are responding to their lesson and to the teachers.

3. It is also important for parents to ask if instructors are trained for the skill level and age of their child. 

4. Look for a program where the curriculum builds as that child’s skill level grows. Classes that place a child in lessons based strictly on age rather than skill should be avoided.

5. Generally, parents will want to seek out a swim class where the teacher is in the water interacting with students versus providing instruction from the pool deck.

6. Create a comparison chart or pro and con list for the programs being considered.

Decide what will be the most effective learning environment for your child and make notes right after visiting the school to determine if that particular program fits your child’s needs while it is still fresh in your mind.

[Read more: Pool safety for kids under age 5]

To find a USSSA affiliated swim school near you, or for details on becoming a member of the nation’s leading swim school organization visit: http://www.usswimschools.org.