When are Children Ready to Learn to Swim?
A study was conducted by Donna McKean, BSc Kinesiology, Aquatic Program Coordinator at the TransAlta Tri Leisure Centre in Spruce Grove to discover what the best age is for children to learn to swim and to be able to master skills and strokes such as front crawl. It was based on observation of a variety of swim lessons and analyzing data gathered from completed instructor worksheets. Red Cross Swim was the program that was being used at the time of the study.
The observations noted that certain skills required in various levels were difficult for children to master until they hit a certain age, and it was only when they became old enough that they were able to “get it”. Analyzing the data corroborated the observations. The data showed that the age at which children are most “ready” to learn to swim is at about 6.5-7 years. Preschool programs are good for helping children become more comfortable in the water in preparation for learning the more intricate skills required in swimming but the average child who goes to swim lessons once or twice a week will not master front crawl or back crawl until they are school age.