In South Louisiana we are surrounded by water, from backyard swimming pools to weekends boating to trips to the white sand beaches of the Gulf Coast. It is because of our proximity to water, as well as the natural occurrences that can happen at a moment’s notice, that teaching our children how to swim is the greatest gift we can give them. Swim lessons can give your child a sense of accomplishment, but it can also save a child’s life.
Note: this post is sponsored by Elmwood Fitness Center.
When should children start swim lessons?
Children as young as 6 months old can begin swim lessons that will allow them to become comfortable in the water. Water Babies classes revolve around songs and simple activities that raise the child and parent’s comfort level in the water. These classes offer specific techniques and activities that can be customized to each child’s age, skill level and physical development. These activities can be practiced outside of formal class time and can also be taught to other caregivers to improve the safety of the child. Toddler and preschool level classes involve low student to instructor ratios. Children are taught basic breath control, proper body positions, effective arm and leg movements and basic lifesaving skills. Children of all ages can be taught to wear a life jacket while boating and “to reach and throw” when they see a friend in need. These skills are taught through games, rhymes, daily practice and communication with caregivers. Advanced and competitive lessons teach children endurance skills, detailed stroke techniques and more advanced lifesaving skills.
What should I look for when choosing swim lessons?
One of the most important things to look for when choosing a swim instructor is someone who holds an American Red Cross Water Safety Instructor. Instructors trained through the American Red Cross program are certified through an intensive training program and are continuously monitored and evaluated by Water Safety Instructor Trainers. American Red Cross instructors have been trained to teach every age and ability level. They also have knowledge and practice with adaptive swim procedures to meet the aquatic needs of extraordinary children. Certified swim instructors will never throw your child in the pool to “sink or swim”, nor will they leave your child languishing in terror alone on their back. Certified swim instructors have the skills and knowledge to scaffold their lessons and skills to suit the needs of each child.
Elmwood Fitness Center Offerings
At Elmwood Fitness Center, we offer a variety of programs to meet all of your family’s aquatic needs. We offer Water Babies through Adult Lessons, as well as an adaptive needs program, JoJo’s Hope. You can participate in group, semi-private, or private lessons. We look forward to being a pivotal part of your child’s swimming life. Please contact Christina Offutt at 504-736-4762 to reserve your child’s place in swim lessons today!
Swimming is an important life lesson, especially here in South Louisiana, and with the right instructor your child will love swimming for the rest of their lives.
Have your children taken swim lessons? If so, where? How old were they? Did you all enjoy it?
Kristin Rich has been a certified American Red Cross Water Safety Instructor Trainer for 15 years and teaches swim lessons at Elmwood Fitness Center. Kristin was born and raised in New Orleans. She and her husband are the proud parents of a 2.5 year old daughter, Madeline Cecile, and a fourth grade teacher during the winter months. Profile photo credit to Kathleen Bernard.