Resources for Parents
A Parent's guide to finding swim lessons
The USA Swimming Foundation makes it easy for parents to identify swim lesson providers who meet or exceed industry best practices AND who offer community water safety education and/or scholarships for children in need, through our Make a Splash Local Partner swim lesson provider network.
Look for the blue highlighted programs in the National Swim Lesson Registry below to find a Make a Splash Local Partner program near you!
If a parent does not know how to swim, there is only a 19% chance that a child in that household will ever learn to swim. Help us break the cycle and enroll your child in swim lessons today!
- National research study commissioned by the USA Swimming Foundation and conducted by the University of Memphis (2010).
Why Should My Child Learn to Swim?
Because learning to swim significantly reduces the risk of drowning! Drowning is the 2nd leading cause of unintentional injury death, with the highest rates among children ages 1-4. Whether or not you plan to head to the pool, water is all around us - in rivers, lakes, drainage ditches, bath tubs, and even large puddles. Equip your child with the lifesaving skill of swimming and you'll also be giving him/her access to the fun, fitness, and future employment opportunities, water can provide!
When Are My Children Ready for Swim Lessons?
Children can participate in swimming lessons before they can walk! Parent/child swim lessons provide water safety education and bonding opportunities that can last a lifetime.
In the years to follow, your child will be prepared to continue swim lessons on their own with an instructor; most lesson providers do not require parents to get in the water beyond the toddler years, however it is strongly encouraged that parents observe their child’s swimming skill development from a designated viewing area.
How to Choose a Swim Lesson Provider:
- Use our National Swim Lesson Finder to search for a Make a Splash Local Partner swim lesson provider near you
- Ask those in your community where they take their children for swim lessons
- Visit the facility with your child to see how swim lessons are run
- Ask who your child’s teacher will be and whether it’s possible to meet them in advance
- Ask what the program expectations are for you as a parent/guardian
- Ask about the provider’s program or learn-to-swim philosophy
- Ask if the program adheres to industry best practices (which can be seen below)
The USA Swimming Foundation strongly recommends swim lesson providers who meet or exceed the following industry best practices. When researching swim lesson programs for your child, ask the provider if they adhere to the following:
- A nationally recognized learn-to-swim curriculum (e.g. Red Cross, YMCA, Swim America, Starfish) or an independently developed learn-to-swim curriculum
- Trained/certified instructors, with on-deck lifeguards holding current CPR and First Aid certifications
- A maximum 6:1 student-to-instructor ratio
- Minimum instructional time of four (4) hours per session
- Written and practiced Emergency Action Plan for each facility
- Operate in a facility regulated by the Department of Health or similar government agency
USA Swimming Foundation Affiliate Partner, U.S. Masters Swimming offers swimming lessons for adults through their Swimming Saves Lives Foundation. Click here to find a swim lesson provider near you specializing in adult learn-to-swim.