At What Age Is It Safe for Kids to Start Swim Lessons

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From the time that babies are born and they begin crawling and moving around one of the first questions that parents ask is when can my child begin to swim? Or is it too early to put them into swimming lessons?

baby swimming photo

Some parents believe that babies can naturally learn to swim if you introduce them to the water early on. But, this is not something that medical professionals recommend doing.

In fact, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, you should wait until your child is at least four years of age before you allow them to take swimming lessons. This used to be the old guideline when it came to starting swimming lessons.

It has since been revised and the AAOP now states that a child can begin swimming lessons from ages one to four.  This is not to say that they should begin lessons at this point it is merely stating that it is possible to start this early.

Your child beginning swimming lessons really depends on where they are in their development. Some children may be ready to learn certain things earlier than other children are.

And some children are afraid of water altogether so throwing them into a container or a pool full of water will not prove to be helpful in teaching them to swim. When your child begins to take swimming lessons they will need the proper swim gear.

The proper swim gear will allow them to fully focus on learning to become one with the water. It is important that at some point your child does learn how to swim because it will lessen their likelihood of drowning or panicking in any situation that has to do with water.

It may not prevent it, but it will give them the tools to know how and what they can do to escape a traumatic situation. Again swimming lessons don’t mean that an accident can’t happen that is why it is important to implement safety precautions as well.

Things such as using floaties while your child is in the pool can be beneficial and important when it comes to keeping your children safe. It will allow them to remain in the water as they continue to learn and develop their swimming skills.

You should also implement the main advice when it comes to your children being in the pool. And that means always having an adult within arm’s length of your child so that should they panic or become fearful they can put their hand on you for reassurance.

Children should be monitored at all times when they are in the swimming pool no matter how great at swimming they become. And you should also teach your children how to perform CPR.

This is essential in case they are in a situation where someone around them is drowning or has lost consciousness while in the water. CPR is also a wonderful tool in case they are in a situation where someone is choking or needs assistance with an unconscious person.

Swimming can be very therapeutic and relaxing for many people and therefore it is wise to allow your child to use it as an outlet for their stress and a way for them to exercise as well. Lessons can begin between ages one to four depending on how ready your child is to undertake this feat.

Start off slow and then continue from there. When we say start off slow we mean don’t just throw them into the water for the shock value it probably won’t end well. Instead, introduce them to the water slowly and as time goes on they will get used to the water.

Guest post by Nancy Baker

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About Author

Production engineer and certified swim coach. Full-time IT consultant, spare-time swimming aficionado. 2 sons, 2 daughters and a wife. President of the Faroe Islands Swimming Association. Likes to run :-)

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