In Swim Starters, our parent and child class, infants and toddlers are introduced to the Aquatics Environment. Accompanied by a parent or guardian, infants and toddlers learn to be comfortable in the water and develop swim readiness skills through fun and confidence-building experiences, while parents and guardians learn about water safety, drowning prevention, and the importance of supervision.
This Isn't About Swimming
Swim Starters at the Y is not about learning swim strokes. In fact, it's not about learning to swim. And honestly, it's not really about the kids. It's about the parents. It's about teaching parents how to be around the water with their young children. It's about teaching parents how to teach their kiddos water safety and swim basics long into the future.
Parents often forget their role in water safety. And that's not just my opinion. Research shows that parents often do not adequately supervise their children in the water, and they often overestimate their Child's ability. In fact, one survey reported that 88 percent of children in the US who drowned did so because caregivers were distracted. That's chilling. But it also shows that childhood drowning is preventable. And prevention starts with parent education, awareness, and support.
So Let's Get Comfortable
When you bring an infant into a swimming pool for the first time, it's the opposite of comfortable. There can be tears, shivers, and wide-eyed expressions of confusion. There is so much newness. And the more you expose your child to water, the more comfortable they become. The more comfortable they become, the more quickly they can learn the skills and techniques that make them safer in the water.
Knowing how to swim is a life-saving skill that opens up a vast array of opportunities to stay fit, develop self-confidence, build relationships and safely enjoy aquatic activities.