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Big Kids

25th Aug 2023

Mum questions the appropriate age to allow your children to swim alone

Taking your children for a swim is always an activity that means you’re constantly on the look out.

While we’re always keeping an eye on what are children are doing regardless, swimming is something we never want to drop our attention for.

But of course, there comes a time when our children must spread their wings and are old enough to head off to the pool or beach alone – but what age is that?

One mum has sparked the conversation on Reddit after she questioned how old should children be before they are trusted to go swimming alone.

Explaining how she recently had a pool fitted into her garden and that both her children are strong swimmers, the mum wondered if they were ready to go in by themselves.

She wrote: “My two older kids (5 and 9) are both strong swimmers, and the oldest has been on a swim team for a few years now. We don’t let either of them swim unaccompanied by an adult at the moment, but I’m curious–at what point would you be fine with allowing this?”

She went on to add that when she says “alone”, she means that she is still present and can see her kids from the window of the house – just not directly with them.

Parents immediately took to the comments to share their own takes on the divisive topic, with many conflicting answers popping up.

One person wrote: “Agree with everyone else saying never completely alone. For the siblings swimming together but without an adult directly supervising, I’d say at whatever age the youngest can be relied on to react appropriately in an emergency. They’d both be watching out for each other.”

Another added: “My 10yo is a VERY strong year round swimmer. She went to state this summer with her team and can outpace some adults… she must be supervised when she swims, period, full-stop. I’m assuming we’ll revisit this conversation when she’s older. But it’s not a conversation we’ll be having anytime soon.”

A third shared: “No one, including adults, should ever swim completely alone.”