Teaching children to swim offers many physical and mental benefits. It's an essential water safety skill, reducing the risk of drowning. What are the benefits, where can I find lessons, and which pool safety equipment should I choose for my child?


Swimming plays an important role in the physical and psychological development of children. This sport, recognised for its health benefits, helps children to develop harmoniously. By swimming, children develop not only their physical abilities but also their self-confidence.

Learning to swim is essential to help prevent drowning. As a reminder, the majority of fatal drownings occur in private pools. During the summer of 2023 in France, 400 drownings of children under the age of 6 were recorded. (Santé Publique France)

Unfortunately, private swimming pools are the scene of many tragic drownings, mainly among young children, causing several hundred deaths every year.


Safety and learning to swim: baby swimmers, swimming lessons

According to the French Swimming Federation (FFN), learning to swim is a primary necessity. Swimming is a complete sport which, as well as strengthening muscles and improving coordination, contributes to children's general well-being. The FFN stresses that learning to swim is essential if children are to be able to move safely in the water.

Your child's safety is important, especially when it comes to swimming. As long as the child cannot yet swim, it is imperative that parents are constantly present and vigilant in the water. This active supervision is essential to prevent accidents and ensure rapid intervention if necessary.

The French Swimming Federation has set up two main schemes to promote children learning to swim: "J'apprends à nager" (6 to 12 years) and "Aisance Aquatique" (4 to 6 years).

These programmes have been developed by experts such as doctors, psychologists, specialist trainers for children, PE teachers and sports educators.

The objectives of these programmes are as follows:

  • An adapted teaching approach: The programmes are designed to suit each age group, to guide children as they become familiar with the aquatic environment.
  • Specialised supervision: The aquatic awareness sessions are supervised by professionals trained in the specific needs of toddlers up to 3 years old and children aged 3 to 6.
  • Getting to grips with the aquatic environment from the age of 4: Children start to familiarise themselves with water from an early age.
  • Knowing how to swim by the time they enter secondary school: Ensuring that all children master the basics of swimming before they start secondary school.
  • Practise in complete safety: Enable children to practise aquatic and water sports activities in complete safety.
  • Prevent drowning: Reduce the risk of drowning through better knowledge and control of the aquatic environment.

The French Ministry of Health and Prevention gives us some tips on how to keep children safe in the water:

  • Before and during swimming, actively supervise young children at all times
  • Never take your eyes off young children when they are playing at the water's edge
  • Bathe with young children when they are in the water
  • Designate one adult per child to supervise during swimming

Throughout the year, we recommend teaching children to swim as early as possible and familiarising them with the aquatic environment from an early age.

  • Baby swimming (up to 3 years)
  • Water skills (from 4 to 6 years)
  • Learn to swim (from age 6)

Swimming is essential for children's overall development, both physically and psychologically. For example, baby swimming sessions are adapted for infants. These sessions strengthen the parent-child bond, are fun sessions that stimulate babies' senses and prepare them to learn to swim in a safe and fun way.

Even out of the water, children are at risk, and extra precautions offer the necessary protection. Active parental supervision is essential to prevent accidents. By combining learning to swim with vigilance, we can ensure that our children have a safe and beneficial aquatic experience.


3 types of benefits of learning to swim for children

Benefits for the body:

  1. Strengthening the cardiovascular and respiratory systems: Swimming improves endurance and the efficiency of the heart and lungs.
  2. Improved posture: With symmetrical and balanced movements, swimming helps to maintain good posture and correct back misalignments.
  3. Muscle development: Swimming involves all the muscles in the body, from the legs and arms to the abdominal muscles and back, promoting harmonious muscle development.
  4. Discover new sensations: Learning to float, dive or swim underwater allows you to discover and adapt to unique sensations not encountered on land.
  5. Improved muscle and joint flexibility: The fluid, stretched movements of swimming help to maintain and improve the flexibility of muscles and joints.
  6. Development of motor skills and coordination: The coordination required to synchronise arms, legs and breathing in swimming is excellent for developing fine and gross motor skills.
  7. Stimulation of bone growth: Regular exercise in the water, although gentle on the joints, helps to strengthen the bones, which is beneficial for growing children.

Psychological benefits:

  1. Building self-confidence: Successfully swimming a length of pool or diving for the first time boosts self-confidence and personal pride.
  2. Improved concentration and memory: Breathing techniques and swimming movement sequences require intense concentration, improving memory and concentration.
  3. Better sleep: Expending energy and relaxing after a swimming session can help children sleep better at night.
  4. Helps to relax and unwind: Water has a soothing effect and floating can reduce stress and promote a state of relaxation.

Safety benefits:

  1. Preventing drowning and raising awareness of the dangers of water: Swimming professionals who accompany children inform them about the risks of drowning. Swimming lessons often include lessons on the dangers of water and the precautions to take, such as never swimming alone or avoiding dangerous areas.
  2. First aid awareness: Children's swimming lessons often include aquatic first aid concepts, such as how to call for help or use a rescue pole, which can be crucial in an emergency.

By teaching children to swim, we are giving them skills that are vital to their safety and well-being.

As long as children are not independent in the water, in addition to the compulsory safety equipment for swimming pools (barriers, covers, alarms), it is essential to provide them with safety equipment to wear out of the water, such as Floatee anti-drowning T-shirts, especially as long as they have not yet mastered swimming.

The Floatee anti-drowning T-shirt is:

  • A T-shirt to wear out of the water
  • That saves your child if he/she goes in the water
  • By inflating automatically

Why buy a Floatee anti-drowning T-shirt in addition to the compulsory safety equipment?

Barriers, alarms, covers, etc. can often be left open or deactivated in the summer to make it easier to enjoy the water. If a child accidentally falls into the water, an adult nearby needs to react quickly. Unfortunately, adult vigilance is not infallible. In the majority of drowning cases, an adult is less than 20 metres away. However, by raising awareness and adopting additional safety measures, together we can reduce these risks and protect our loved ones near water.


Sources (in French):

Back to blog