Have you heard? The American Academy of Pediatrics is recommending swimming lessons for toddlers. It used to be that the American Academy of Pediatrics did not recommend swim lessons for any children under four years of age. The combination of drowning being the second leading cause of unintentional injury deaths in children ages 1 to 4, and some new research being conducted on children as young as 8 months old, being able to learn basic water safety skills, like floating on their backs, the American Academy of Pediatrics is pushing for a paradigm shift in how our society handles young children and water safety.
The Today Show on MSNBC did a recent Today’s Family spotlight on the shift in thinking around learning to swim at an early age. Check out the video for the full report.
Over the years, YMCA’s across the country have played a lead role in helping children learn to swim. Here at Central Bucks Family YMCA, our Aquatics Program is one of the top Learn to Swim programs in the area. We understand how important it is for children to learn water safety and water adjustment at an early age. We are really excited about the upcoming opening on June 21st of our recently constructed Aquatics Center, equipped with a brand new swimming pool that will stay at temperatures of 88-90 degrees. Our new pool will be the warmest throughout the entire Doylestown and Bucks County communities. The benefits of having a warm pool isn’t just so that us adults can get in without shivering, young children actually benefit tremendously from warmer water. Children can begin participating in Central Bucks Family YMCA Parent/Child Aquatics Classes at 6 months of age. Without a heated pool to keep them warm, their bodies wouldn’t hold up well while in the water.
Central Bucks Family YMCA offers a wide-range of Aquatics Programs, from Parent/Child Swimming Classes, to private swim lessons, progressive swimming, and many, many more. Being that summer is right around the corner, we will use the rest of this post to dig into some of our Summer Aquatics Programs. Feel free to visit the Aquatics Program area of our Spring II Brochure on Page 6.
Children ages 6 months to 5 years can participate in our Parent/Child Swimming classes with one parent. Classes are offered on multiple dates and at multiple times to help provide flexibility for participants. Usually classes fill up with 8-10 child/parent teams. Children learn aquatic readiness skills in a fun environment with songs and games. Parents are there, in the water with their children, helping them accomplish specific water-adjustment tasks. Parents are also learning how to teach water safety skills to their children. Young children are able to learn very beneficial water skills, such as:
- Finding comfort being in the water
- Floating on their backs in case a situation occurs when they need to keep afloat by themselves
- Breathing control, so that children understand not to inhale water – We do this through a fun game of Parent/Child bubble blowing in the water. The kids really seem to enjoy it!
- Arm REACH/PULL, whereby children learn to hold onto the side of the pool in case of an emergency, and then ultimately pull themselves up – We teach kids by having them jump into the pool and then reach for the side. Parents are in the water helping kids along.
Swimming is a life skill that can mean life or death for anyone who doesn’t learn this progressive skill. You can learn more about what Parent/Child Swimming classes are offered here at Central Bucks Family YMCA by viewing page 6 of the Central Bucks Family YMCA Spring II Brochure.
Once children are able to swim without the help of their parents, and are between the ages of 3 to 5, they can participate in Central Bucks Family YMCA Pre-School Swim Classes. There are 4 levels of Pre-School Swim Classes, each of which are detailed below.
|PIKE – Pike Classes are beginner classes for children at least 3 years old, with a willingness to separate from their parent. Pike classes teach children to swim independently, back float, and jump in the pool.||EEL – Eel Classes are advanced beginner classes for children from 3 to 5 years old. Children will learn sculling on their back, submersion, endurance, and to swim with their face in water.|
|RAY – Ray Classes are intermediate classes designed for children from 3 to 5 years old who want to learn the kneeling dive, elementary backstroke, an intro to rotary breathing, and an intro to the breastroke.||STARFISH – Starfish Classes are advanced classes for children from 3 to 5 years old. Children learn the back crawl, receive an intro to the breastroke, refine their elementary backstroke, and their refine rotary breathing.|
Youth Progressive Swimming programs give special attention to each child’s individual needs at the appropriate skill level. Classes are attended by kids & teens, with age ranges from 6 years old to 15 years old. Numerous Progressive Swim Classes are offered at Central Bucks Family YMCA – All with flexible dates and times to help accommodate participants’ schedules. Page 7 of the Spring II Brochure has all of the Progressive Swimming information that you need. Definitely check out each of the many Progressive Swim Classes at Central Bucks Family YMCA.
Here at the Y, we have been helping kids learn to swim for many years. Children of all ages have been participating in our Aquatics Program and now with the new pool, we hope many more of you will come out and join us. We also offer private and semi-private swimming lessons, as well as, mini-swim sessions, like our Pre-School Quick Start Swim Program that offers 7 lessons in 4 weeks. It doesn’t matter what age your children are, it’s never too early to help them learn the tools that will keep them safe, while learning the joys of swimming. For more information about the Aquatics Program at Central Bucks Family YMCA, please email Beth Tormey, Aquatic Director, or call Beth at 215-348-8131, x 183.