Swimming Lessons: When Should Your Children Start?
Accidental drowning is one of the leading causes of death in young children. Swimming lessons may seem like the best way to prevent drowning. But, organizations like the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that parents think beyond swimming skills to other ways they can promote water safety.
The AAP emphasizes the importance of teaching children how to swim. There has been controversy, though, as to what age lessons should start. The AAP's current position is that children ages 1-4 may be less likely to drown if they have participated in swimming lessons. They advise parents to decide whether to enroll their children in lessons based on the child's:
- Exposure to water sources for swimming
- Emotional development
- Physical abilities
- Health conditions
However, the AAP has many other helpful suggestions that parents should consider to prevent drowning.
Last reviewedJanuary 2014by Michael Woods, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.