Getting comfortable in the water before walking

In just a few short months, summer will be here. Public and backyard pools will open, cottages will reopen, and families will hit the road for beach vacations. You probably already have everything you need on hand, like bathing suits, towels, sunscreen, and pails and shovels. The older kids will be thrilled to get back in the water for a game of Marco Polo. But when it comes to your littlest one, do you have everything you need?

Even when kids wear flotation devices and water wings, water safety can quickly become a source of stress for parents. That’s why the Red Cross strongly recommends signing kids up for swimming lessons when they are just months old.

For Cindy, Henry’s mom, it was a no-brainer. “Kids are naturally drawn to the water. By signing my son up for swimming lessons, I know he is getting quality instruction and I can safely pass on my love for the water. I live near a lake, so lessons are a must!”

Unfortunately, the water still claims far too many lives each year. “By starting swimming lessons at a very young age, you are giving your kids a priceless gift,” says Selma-Nada Younsi, a water safety instructor. “It helps them get used to being in the water, build confidence in their abilities, have fun, and little by little, learn to swim. We also explain the risks and dangers of the water, rules for in and around the pool, and how to react quickly in stressful situations. The sooner kids learn these things, the more they can apply them, which can make a real difference. That said,” cautions Selma-Nada, “none of this is a substitute for parental vigilance… accidents happen so quickly.”

So, in preparation for enjoying a dip this summer, why not sign your child up for swimming lessons this spring? Whether it’s to introduce them to the water, perfect their swimming techniques or just spend quality time with them, lessons will never be a waste of time! After all, life is just too precious.


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