Hudson Valley Parent

HVP April 2018

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32 Hudson Valley Parent n April 2018 "Water acclimation is our main focus at this age," explains Smith. "This time in the pool was quality one-on-one time for my daughter and me and made her more comfortable in and around water at home," says Sperber. "When Lila is five I will sign her up for formal lessons where she will be expected to be more independent." Smith insists that age is not the most important factor limiting By CASSIDY BRIGHTON Y ou've rounded up your little ones, grabbed their favorite Mickey Mouse towel and matching goggles and you're off to the pool! Older kids splash in the deep end and do tricks off of the diving board. Young children run past you in their Paw Patrol trunks and mermaid themed bathing suits while the scent of over chlorinated water wafts through the air. You've signed your child up for swimming lessons in the hopes of making the water a comfortable place and to improve their skills. But what is the right age to start lessons? And when should you expect your child to swim sans water wings? Starting young Teresa Sperber, New Windsor mom of two, took her daughter to her first swimming lesson at eight months old. She signed her daughter, Lila, up for a class at the YWCA in New Windsor joining other mother and baby duos for their first real experience in the water. Sperber says, "It was supposed to get babies used to the pool and being in the water. The teacher would show us different aquatic arm and leg movements. When Lila understood she was able to repeat the movements on her own." Mary Smith, aquatic director for the Hudson Valley's leg of British Swim School says their program starts children in the water as young as three months old. independence in the pool. "Our classes are skill based rather than age based," she says of the programs at British Swim School. "Instructors pay attention to children and discuss the possibility of leaving the pool to parents when their child seems ready to be on their own." Starting kids early will only make them more comfortable in the pool without clinging to their parents. Is your child ready for swimming lessons? What to expect at the pool at every age Teresa Sperber enrolled her 8-month-old daughter in a "mommy-and-me" swimming lesson. She says that it was great quality time with her child that made her much more comfortable in the water.

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