How to prepare your child for school swimming lessons

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Training aids such as fins can add variety to your sessions.

Swimming is similar to cycling in that once you know how to steady yourself and keep the momentum going, you never forget how to do it. But for children learning how to swim at school, the experience can often be demanding and in some cases, intimidating. That’s why we’ve compiled some handy advice to help prepare your young ones for each class, and to help make the experience as safe and enjoyable as possible.

kids swimming lesson tip from Decathlon

First off, it’s important to check with your child’s school to see if it has any specific rules regarding swimming classes. For example, the use of swim goggles is forbidden in some schools across the UK for health and safety reasons, but they may be permitted in cases when a doctor’s note has been supplied. Some schools also require children to reach a basic swim competency by a certain age, but if in doubt be sure to check with their teacher.

Schools also have guidelines that prohibit the wearing of jewellery while in pools, and there are also general etiquette rules you must ensure your child is aware of, such as knowing how to properly dress and undress themselves, and to be responsible for folding, hanging-up and storing their own garments in the changing room.
The onus is on parents to make sure their child is aware of general water safety, the dangers of swimming in tidal waters, and to make sure they understand that jumping into any pool without first checking the shallowness of the water could result in injury. If you’re concerned about hygiene, you may also consider packing flip flops or verruca socks in your child’s bag to wear while walking around the changing room.

With all of the safety essentials and rules out of the way, it’s time to make sure your budding swimmer has everything they need to have fun, and this starts with supplying them with a bag big enough to fit all of their equipment, and anything else you feel they may need.
Most schools require the use of swimming caps or hairbands, and in the case of girls they may be required to wear a hair bob while in the water. It’s also up to parents to ensure they have supplied their child with an adequate pair of swim trunks or a costume, along with a suitably-sized towel for drying off after each lesson.

It is also advised that your child takes a hairbrush with them as well as a container to keep personal effects like jewellery or watches safe, and to reduce the chance of them going missing. You can also help keep their belonging’s safe by labelling them with name and address tags, as well as details of their school.

Some schools may also permit the packing of healthy snacks and drinks that can be consumed following a class, but as with all things swimming, it is best to check with their teacher if you have any doubts or need further information.

All that’s left is for your child to take to the water and start working towards those coveted swim badges. Be sure to check out our range of swimwear and accessories in our swimming shop to help get them started.

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