Spring is here, and the warmer weather has many of us thinking or dreaming about the sun, sand, and of course swimming. It’s never too late or too early to get your kids in swimming lessons, but what should you look for?
There are a lot of things to look for when you’re searching for the right swim class. To make sure we didn’t miss anything, we asked a couple of moms with kids in swimming lessons at the Holladay Lion’s Fitness and Recreation Center to help be our guide.
Find a Good Instructor
Swimming lessons at this indoor pool in Holladay are year round, and it’s where we found moms Kathleen Rich and Janette Pace who both have kids in swimming lessons. These moms say one of the most important things to look for is a Good Instructor, someone who knows a lot about swimming and how to teach children.
“I look for instructors who will really help the kids reach their full potential,” says Janette Pace, “someone who can push them a little and get them to do things they didn’t know they could do before in a fun way.”
It’s also a good idea to look for an instructor who is American Red Cross Certified so you know that you’re children are getting safety skills as well as swim instruction.
To find a Good Instructor, stay and observe a class or ask to take part in one so you know what you’re getting.
Look for a Small Class
It’s also important to look for a Small Class. Kathleen Rich says she loves doing swim lessons in January. “No one else is thinking of swimming lessons and the class sizes are smaller. I think that’s really important to look for a small class size.” Pace agrees, “For me, it’s important for them to have one on one interaction with the teacher as much as possible during the class. So I like to look for smaller class sizes.”
Check out the Facility
It’s also important to Check Out the Facility, and make sure it’s right for your child. For smaller kids that could mean finding a facility with zero entry, a pool with a gradual slope from the deck to the water or a pool with a large shallow end.
“It’s great for the height of small children where they can stand and be comfortable to be able to learn to swim instead of being taken into a deeper area where they might have more fear,” explains Holladay Lion’s Fitness and Recreation Center pool manager Amber Morgan.
And temperature is also a big thing. “It’s warm in here, so they don’t get cold. That’s a huge thing, because then they’re not crying and wishing they could leave,” says Rich.
Pools vary in temperature, but are usually between 80 and 85 degrees. For babies, it’s best if the pool is a bit warmer. You can ask the facility what the temperature is.
When to Start
The American Association of Pediatrics recommends that parents hold off on formal swimming lessons until after their child’s fourth birthday, when they’re developmentally able to learn the skills needed to stay afloat. You can get your babies in the pool earlier, but focus on water games, swimming readiness skills and safety in and around the pool. For children under 4 years old, look for a parent-tot swim class.
What to Wear
The state requires that little swimmers wear both a swim diaper and a plastic pant over the swim diaper. It’s important to buy the right size of swim diaper for your child. Plastic pants can be bought at most Salt Lake County pools and at other stores, including most grocery stores. If swim class is outside, you may want to look into UV shirts to protect against sunburn.
For more information on Salt Lake County Pools and Swim Classes:
Tips for Healthy Swimming
Keep it Clean: No Crypto