Should I take my child when he/she is really young? My friends tell me that it is good to put the children into the pool really early.
There`s a mixed opinion on this belief, though. Most paediatricians would like you to hold off submersion that happens in many of the swimming lessons of the tiny tots. The reason is the frequent ear infections which forces the paediatricians to give children antibiotics. Many paediatricians are trying to prevent the overuse of antibiotics at this tender age. However, by the time a child is four or five years of age, the eustachian canal is longer and doesn`t complicate the middle and inner ear with infections as often.
On the other hand, swimming instructors really would prefer to start swimming lessons for children as early as when they are just two years old. This is because they feel that children who start very early can become completely comfortable in water, instinctively learn to hold their breath underwater and paddle with arms and legs effectively. There is such a wide variance to the way children take to water that it is impossible to predict what age would be the best.
When a child begins to show some confidence in the pool and no longer clings to a parent but instead reaches out and wants to swim and paddle about alone, that`s a pretty good sign of readiness. The right age does not really matter, because many instructors believe that kids seem to have to re-learn their strokes and breathing patterns and generally get comfortable from year to year, no matter how young they begin to learn swimming.
When you do put your child into swimming classes, don`t push her just because you see your friend`s child swimming away. The first few weeks of the swimming lessons will be spent learning water safety, getting familiar with and trying to master the art of floating, feeling relaxed in the water and not panicking and finding his/her bearings in the water.