Which sport you choose for your child could be a matter of life and death. In Florida and in light of the recent rash of drowning, swimming is the most important activity a child can learn. Soccer, dance, baseball and karate are optional, swimming is essential.

Any healthy child can be taught to swim and float and to be safe and happy in the water. However, it is very important that they learn the correct postures and balance in the beginning so that their aquatic schooling can progress seamlessly.

Discriminate, ask questions.

How much experience does the instructor have with young children? Your child should have one-on-one lessons customized to your child’s risks and needs with a mature instructor who has a career with years of committed, dedicated experience. Ask your pediatrician, ask for referrals, and then go to watch the program in action. Never assume any institution’s competence, go see for yourself.

What are your goals for your child? Properly taught, your fully skilled child will be able to swim in the correct posture, roll to their back to rest and breathe confidently and reliably. The swim program should have systems in place whereby your child’s skills are continually monitored, maintained and improved.

As any athlete department can attest, swimmers not only have healthy bodies, they also have much higher grade point averages than most other sports participants. Any healthy child can be taught to swim and float and to be safe and happy in the water. However, it is very important that they learn the correct postures and balance in the beginning so that their aquatic schooling can progress seamlessly.