Your pool is likely the summer hub of your family, with numerous days spent on the kids splashing and adults lounging in the sparkling water to escape the heat of summer. Naturally, having a pool is a great perk for kids and their parents alike, but it can also bring on a host of other worries– the most prominent, child safety. Being a pool owner means carefully supervising young children while they play in the backyard, investing in safety covers for ease of mind, and knowing there’s always the slightest possibility of danger for pets and kids around the pool.

Knowing these worries plague the mind of every parent pool owner, here’s a suggestion that will certainly take a weight off your shoulders: sign up your children for professional swim lessons, especially in the off-season, when your home pool is safely covered and closed. Teaching kids early how to properly navigate in water, float, hold their breath, and swim can instill proper swimming techniques at a ripe age, techniques they’ll always abide by once they become experienced swimmers. If you really need to be convinced, here are 3 more major reasons to sign your child up for swimming lessons:

The first and primary reason to sign your child up for swimming lessons is safety. For parents, pool safety is a top priority. Preparing your children to act responsibly inside and around a pool is key to maintaining your own mindfulness. Knowing your child is a prepared swimmer can save you some worry, while also giving them a valuable life skill they’re sure to use frequently. Getting your child ready to swim independently during the off-season ensures they are well-prepared for the next summer of fun, both under the sun and in the water.

Being taught by a professional at a pool other than in your own also gives children the added benefit of being properly educated regarding public pool safety precautions, as well as how to react in an emergency. This knowledge makes them alert and responsible swimmers, both at home and in public. Giving them the gift of preparedness is the best way to protect your children around your pool.

The second reason you should look into swimming lessons is the benefit they can have on your child’s cognitive development. Swimming lessons create a solid learning foundation for a child’s future educational pursuits, as it has been shown that children who learned to swim early in their childhood have improved cognitive functions later in major subjects like writing, reading, and math. Swimming lessons can sharpen children’s motor skills and critical thinking in the process, which can only benefit their development from then on. These lessons are active and involved, giving young children a chance to experience different associations, phrases, skills, and social interactions that they may not have encountered until an older age.

Depending on the type of swimming class you enroll in, it may very well be a class in which children and their parents participate together in the pool, rather than simple parental supervision. This idea brings us to the third reason to enroll in your child in a swimming class: building a better bond with family. Being there as a safety net for your child while they learn this key life skill is a bonding experience for both of you. Spending more time with your child doing fun activities like swimming will certainly help you forge a stronger relationship later on. The added benefit to this bonding moment is the elimination of the fear-factor for children– knowing mommy or daddy are there to catch them helps them navigate more confidently in the water, creating a more positive association with swimming instead of instilling fear of the unknown. Your child will build not only a stronger bond with you, but also with the water.

Though the best reason to enroll your child in swimming lessons is for their safety in the water, the added benefits of cognitive development and family bonding make it an easy decision. Take advantage of the off-season this year by giving your child the opportunity to learn how to swim professionally- even more benefits are sure to surface from their time at swim school. Happy swimming!