Children develop at different rates and not everyone is ready to start swimming at the same age. When making your decision, be mindful of your child’s emotional maturity, their physical abilities and developmental limitations, and their comfort level in the water. Recent research suggests that water survival training and swimming lessons can help reduce the risk of drowning in children ages 1 to 4. Activities that involve both parents and their children are also a good way to instill good water safety habits and start building swimming skills.
If your child seems ready, it is recommended to start classes right away. By the age of 4, most children are ready for swimming lessons. At this age, they can usually learn basic water survival skills such as swimming, walking on water, and finding an exit point. By the age of 5-6, most children who attend swimming lessons can master the front crawl. If your child hasn’t started a swimming program yet, now is the time!
Always remember that swimming lessons are just one of several important layers of protection needed to prevent drowning. The other level includes constant, targeted monitoring when your child is in or near the pool or any other body of water. It is also important to block access to the pools during non-swimming hours. The Consumer Product Safety Commission found that 69% of children under the age of 5 should not have been in the water while drowning.