In the summer we live at the pool, literally we are there 5-6 days a week. We belong to a members only pool and they have very reasonable guest policies so we often bring friends. Inevitably when you are discussing a pool play date the question Does your child know how to swim? comes up. This is such a tricky question because I have learned that my definition of knowing how to swim and others is not always the same.
There are many people in my life who say there child can swim and they can’t. They can do a passable doggy paddle but if they ever got into deep water they would need rescuing. For whatever reason our society decides once kids can touch the bottom and are over the age of 6 that counts as knowing how to swim. I just don’t understand.
This summer I know of 2 instances where 18 year old guys went out on boats and drowned. They told the people they were with they could swim. One jumped in and never resurfaced. Another jumped in and the boat drifted away, he was not able to swim back. That is two lives lost that were avoidable if they only knew how to truly swim. There were other people there with them who could swim who were fine. It is embarrassing to admit I can only doggy paddle so people claim to know how to swim when they can’t really.
Last night at our swim team banquet a mom confessed to me that she grills parents before she lets their kids come to the pool with her. She asks them if their child can swim and then asks can they really swim. If they are not strong swimmers who can do actual strokes she won’t bring them to the pool, and I think that is very smart.
Pools are amazing fun and they are also a great danger. Teach your kids to swim, put them in lessons. Start young or start now, but don’t make the mistake of saying your child can swim when they can’t. And then put them on a swim team even if just for one summer, they will learn an important life skill plus it is great exercise and lots of summer fun.
I can not recommend Goldfish Swim School enough. My girls take lessons there and we have seen great results. My younger 3 girls are better swimmers than my older 2 at much younger ages thanks to Goldfish Swim School. They are learning a life skill and building great levels of confidence. And more importantly they are safe in the water!
Godlfish Swim School provides lessons for my kids, all opinions are my own.