It is important for every child to know the skills of survival in the water, as well as to be able to swim. Although swimming lessons cannot completely eliminate the risk of drowning, they can keep children safe in the water and help prevent tragic accidents on the water, especially for children over 1 year old. Here’s a guide to learning to swim for kids of all ages, including what to look for and what to expect.
Children’s water programs are often fun for both parents and toddlers. However, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) does not recommend actual swimming lessons for children under 1 year of age because they have not yet developed the breathing skills needed to swim, meaning they are unable to swim on their own.
In addition, there is no evidence that swimming with children reduces the risk of drowning. Nothing can replace the need for parental supervision of water. However, the AAP recommends classes in which parent-child duos participate in water play, which gives children the opportunity to get used to being in the water.