When to teach kids to swim?

The American Academy of Pediatrics recently changed its stance on when young children would benefit from swimming lessons, now saying it was OK for children between the ages of 1 and 4 to join aquatic programs and enroll in lessons. Previously, the Academy held the position that toddlers and preschoolers were not developmentally ready to learn.

The Academy does not necessarily recommend that all children under the age of 4 take swimming lessons; it simply says that it’s OK if a parent wants to enroll their child.

Some benefits of lessons at a young age include:

° Teaching the child to enjoy water

° Teaching parents about water safety

° Beginning to learn water-survival skills.

The Academy also recommends that parents follow other precautions, in addition to swim lessons, which include:

° Fence in the home pool, including inflatable and plastic pools

° Learn CPR

° Use personal flotation devices that are approved by the U.S. Coast Guard, found here.

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