Learning to Swim isn’t an Option, it’s a Requirement

When my son Luke was born it wasn’t an option. I was adamant he would learn how to swim. That opinion never changed as time went by and we added two more children to our nest. We’ve always been water lovers. All of my children love the ocean, lake and swimming pools, yet they had never learned how to swim.

My past life in the news business is what really set the tone for the urgency of learning how to swim. Every summer, I would report on horror stories of small children and teens who drown. Be it at a friend’s house, on a local lake or even in the parent’s own backyards…simply because the victim did not know how to swim.

Did you know Ohio is one of the worst states for drowning deaths? Children are no exception. According to the Columbus Dispatch, during the month of May, 7 people drowned in Central Ohio and two were children. Another one of those deaths was a teenager. From 2012 to 2016, more than 500 people drown in Ohio. If this doesn’t scream the need for more attention on water safety, I’m not sure what does.

My oldest son is a real shark in the water and he has no fear. It would have been impossible to frequent our local pool again this summer if it wasn’t for his swim lessons at Goldfish.

He is now swimming on his own with little to no help, and he’s able to venture out of the kid’s swimming area without me fearing the worst.

Parents, this article isn’t meant to invoke fear, it’s to help raise awareness. Please put your children in swim lessons. Please stay on top of the lessons. If you have time, please practice with them. The swim skills can be easily forgotten, which is why it’s important to stay consistent.

I cannot rave enough about what Goldfish has done for our family and for our children’s confidence level in the water. That’s why learning to swim isn’t an option in our family, it’s a requirement so they will never become one of those statistics.

** Here is another great article about some Potential Water Hazards you may face as a parent this summer.


adam pool
Shark Bait


  1. Good read Shanisty that every parent of small children should read and heed

    1. Thanks Ronnie! I tend to agree 🙂

    2. I fall into that category of a parent who just assumed that his kids were going to learn to swim along the way. Imagine my surprise about eight years ago when my son was about to go stay with an aunt, and I realized they were just about grown into their teen years and had never had a lesson. I immediately enrolled them in the last two week session before band camp (for her) and out of state travel (for him) would take them out of our lives for two weeks. My daughter objected. She didn’t WANT or NEED lessons, and my son wasn’t more compliant. I drove them to the community pool and paid. My daughter sat and pouted after I urged that they be placed in separate class levels so as not to fight. She confided in her instructor that she didn’t want it and that her father did. But she was tested, and basically allowed to play in her class of one. HE got quality instruction, and by the end of nine days, when he HAD to depart, he had passed. I felt relieved that I had at least gotten them into classes and some formal instruction. As young adults, they sometimes go to the pool and enjoy themselves, never stopping to think what an evil parent I was to force them to take lessons that summer. And boy, each day I read the news about another drowning, I am glad was was so mean.


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