by Betsy Natter
Although some days it may not seem like it, the air is warming and summer fun time will be here before you know it. Are your little ones ready for fun at the pool? Swim lessons are a good idea for several reasons. First, statistics show that accidental drowning is a leading cause of death in children in the United States. A child who knows how to swim will be safer around water of any type, whether in a pool or the ocean or even boating on a lake or fishing by a stream.
Secondly, children who swim can participate in a variety of water sports that provide excellent cardiovascular exercise. Canoeing, kayaking, surfing and competitive swimming and diving all require swim skills. Not only does this type of activity keep them physically healthy as they use their hearts, lungs and every muscle group in the body, but it also encourages team play and social interaction.
There are many places throughout Montgomery County where you can access swim instruction even during cooler weather. Check out these options and get your family ready for safe, family water fun this summer.
School District Pools
Local school districts with pools typically offer swimming instruction throughout the winter and spring months for residents of the community. Programs are offered for a variety of ages and instruction is given at different levels based on a child’s skill. Check your district’s website and their community educational programs guide for detailed information and pricing.
YMCA swim programs are available year round, offering instruction for all age levels. Emphasis is also placed on water safety, particularly for young children. You may not need a Y membership to take lessons here, although you may only access the pool during your scheduled class time. Call your local facility to check on their policy. This is also a great place for teens to take lifesaving classes and earn lifeguard certification. Visit the YMCA website to access locations and class options.
Local Swim Clubs
If you’d rather wait until outdoor pools open for the season, most local swim clubs offer lessons at their facility beginning in early June. These classes are usually limited to swim instruction and do not offer specialized lessons such as Mommy and Me or infant classes.
Private Swim Schools
A variety of private schools throughout the area offer swim instruction for all ages. Many of these schools offer water safety for babies and toddlers, instruction for graduated age levels, mommy and me swims, and classes for special needs students. Adults can also take classes to learn or improve their skills. Each school has their own teaching method, so be sure to do your research and learn about the various programs to find which one meets your needs and preferences.
We’ve listed several options for you here: