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  • Paul Donnelly

At what age should my baby learn to swim?

According to Google, six months is the time to start

From the moment children are born we encourage them to push boundaries, be it rolling over, bouncing in a door-frame or walking, and standing, holding our hands  –all while on dry land, therefore why not in water??


If we’re honest we all know our little bundles of joy are unlikely to swim in the Olympic Games (note: the youngest person to do this is: Kyoko Iwasaki of Japan aged 14 and 6 days) during infancy, therefore if this isn’t our goal from baby swim classes; what is?


Different swimming coaches around the world will have an opinion on this subject, some will be commercially influenced and others sentimental, ultimately though all will align to the following facts:


  • In the USA there is on average 3,500 water (but non- boating) related drownings each year

  • In the UK this number is roughly 10% of that published in the USA, but consider the population difference

  • Even 1 death is too many, and according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, drowning is a leading cause of death in 1-4 year old children.


Baby swimming classes at Aquatix

Could these have been prevented with basic swimming skills, we’ll never know, but as a father I do know I’d rather give my children a fighting chance as early in life as possible. 


Some of you will remember the underwater baby on The Nirvana album cover from the 90’s, what a great shot and a real nice to have; I have one myself. However, the skills that I’d expect a baby swim class to teach would be more than just reactive holding of breath (needed for the photo) – and alongside the nursery rhymes don’t underestimate the importance of:

  • Your child having confidence  to be in Water

  • Knowing how to hold on to the side of the pool

  • Grabbing for floats/ toys/ people that maybe in the water

  • Screaming and crying at the right time

  • Balance and flotation

  • Basic movement and rotation skills

I'm not sure of anyone in Dubai, that at some stage, hasn't been to the beach or poolside - it's sad to think of these places as risky, but they are.. therefore why not try to reduce the risk.


The additional benefit of baby swim/ learn to swim classes is the interaction between the parent and child, as well as other parents and children, it’s amazing how quickly children pick up on simple skills by watching other children… hey and as a parent, you never know, you may even meet another parent who’s having sleepless nights due to teething


So maybe the questions shouldn’t be At what age should my baby learn to swim…? May be it should be where, when and how can I give my baby an early start in aquatic skills?? The Google response above is pretty accurate, based on medical concerns, most children will have had the basic injections by the time they are 6 months old therefore the risk of infection greatly reduced. 


There is no definitive answer to the question, in our opinion though it’s easy – as early as possible!

Develop these potentially life changing/saving skills now by contacting us and join one of our baby swim classes

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