5 Things to Know Before Getting Your Child into Competitive Swimming

When temperatures start rising, the idea of signing up your child for swimming can sound especially appealing, both as a way to keep them active and to beat the summer heat.

The American Academy of Pediatrics generally recommends waiting to start formal swimming lessons until age 4, although there are programs geared toward swimming readiness and water safety for those as young as 6 months.

Once lessons are completed, the door is open for your child to pursue swimming on a more competitive level. Children as young as 5 or 6 can join swim teams, and organizations such as the YMCA offer the opportunity to meet with an instructor to assess a child's ability and place them into the right age group and skill level.

Swimming can provide a unique athletic outlet for children, one that encourages both a team environment and individual achievement. Before diving in, here are a few things to keep in mind.

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