Whilst it’s never too late for your child to start swimming lessons, it can be too soon to stop.
As passionate swim educators, of course, you’d expect our answer to be “never” when asked, “when should I cancel swimming lessons?”
However, whilst we support the theory that learning never stops, we are realistic. We accept that, in practice, parents do cancel lessons.
So when could you consider cancelling lessons?
As the key driver for learning to swim is usually safety, we’ve considered some highly respected research, facts, and stats to help answer this question.
National Swim & Water Safety Benchmarks
Before cancelling, you should assess if your child is meeting swim safety benchmarks.
After working closely with experts across the aquatic industry, education sector, and academia, the Royal Life Saving Society – Australia (RLSSA) developed the National Swimming and Water Safety Framework (the Framework), which identified a range of national benchmarks.
There are 3 key national benchmarks that you should consider, and to help you, we’ve matched these to the corresponding Aquabliss levels.
Note the ages stated are the latest to reach each target. Children can achieve them earlier.
And there’s no need to pay for swimming lessons until your child is 17.
Once they’ve smashed the second benchmark, they’ll have the basic skills to achieve the third without Aquabliss. They can build their strength and stamina while enjoying whatever water-based swimming activity floats their boat. Just keep encouraging them.
Of course, if you have a super fish in the family interested in swimming, or your child needs a bit more discipline to keep on track, after completing all the levels in our Stroke Development Program, we have some great Squad opportunities!
|Australian Royal Life Saving Benchmarks||Corresponding Aquabliss Swim Level|
|By 6 years|
Swim 5 metres without stopping, swim underwater, simulate an accidental entry and move to safety, know how to call Triple Zero (000).
|Our pre-schooler Jellyfish or school-aged Turtles will smash this first benchmark before moving to the next level.|
|By 12 years|
Swim 50 metres without stopping, float in deep water for 2 minutes, demonstrate survival skills wearing clothing, rescue a conscious person and have basic resuscitation skills.
|That 50-metre goal kicks in at our Stroke Development levels and is achieved by some Dolphins but mastered by all Sharks.|
|By 17 years|
Swim 400 metres without stopping, tread water for 5 minutes and swim survival strokes for 4 minutes wearing clothing, rescue an unconscious person and provide first aid.
|For keen swimmers who continue with our program, graduating as an Orca from our Stroke Development program can help your child achieve this benchmark. And they can definitely blitz it if they enrol in our Squad Program.|
Competently & without goggles!
The distances should be achieved with your child feeling confident and not too out of breath. And without goggles!
Yikes! Why? Because it’s likely your child won’t be wearing them if they accidentally fall into dangerous water.
Dependency on goggles can cause a child to panic and keep their eyes closed instead of looking for ways to get to safety.
So before cancelling, get your child to take off their goggles and see how far and how well they can swim without them. It’s better to find out in the calm water of the pool.
Minimum skills to achieve
The RLSSA recommend that children should stay in swimming lessons long enough to at least achieve the 50-metre swim and 2-minute float national benchmark.
And we agree.
At Aquabliss, that equates to either a Dolphin or Shark level.
Don’t over-estimate your child’s swimming and water safety abilities. 25 meters (or less) is not far enough to forge a well-rounded swimmer.
Our pools are calm, warm, quiet, and familiar. Conversely, it’s much harder to swim in open water environments. So, this 50-meter benchmark will better prepare kids to cope with different aquatic situations.
Technique matters – don’t miss a stroke
Don’t miss our Stroke Development Levels. Some of the technical elements of swimming can be very hard to master.
Good technique = learning to swim WELL = swimming efficiently.
Essential for safety reasons. Your child will tire less quickly if they know how to swim more easily and efficiently and, therefore, less likely to panic should they find themselves in trouble.
From kids to adults – risk management
Additionally, keeping children in swimming lessons until they reach this 50m benchmark, being a little older and/or more mature, gives us more time and opportunity to really drill into them how important it is to respect the water.
You never stop being a parent, worrying and caring for them, but you won’t always be with them when they are in and around water.
Through swimming lessons, children learn to recognise and understand risk factors. Being safe in and around water is all about risk management. This is a great life skill to learn.
As they enter their teens and adulthood, this vital skill can help them make better decisions when you’re not around – and not just in the pool but on land too.
We Swim Campaign
The RLSSA have launched the We Swim Campaign to encourage parents to achieve and exceed this 50-metre, 2-minute float benchmark after their research showed that:
40% of 12-year-olds are unable to meet the national benchmark for swimming and water safety.
Want to cancel?
Discuss your child’s swim and water safety ability with us first, especially if it’s because you think your child has plateaued. Most kids face a learning plateau, and our staff will have some ideas for getting through this stage.
Or, if you’re thinking of cancelling and replacing with another sport, ask yourself, can that replacement sport potentially save a life?