How young is too young for a child to learn how to swim? According to the American Academy of Pediatrics’ (AAP) guidelines on drowning prevention and water safety, most children should begin swimming classes between ages 1 and 4. You may be asking yourself, there are swim lessons for babies? That’s right! In addition to swimming lessons for toddlers, many instructors teach babies to swim from the age of 1 so that they have no time to grow a fear of the water.
Is it Time for Your Child to Start Swimming Classes?
Did you know the second-leading cause of death for children ages 1 to 19 is drowning? The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission found that 47 percent of submersion injuries are suffered by children between the ages of 1 and 2 and children younger than 15 represent 53 percent of fatalities. Those are some scary statistics that should make any parent rush to get their children ready for learning to swim. Here are some steps to get you started.
Step 1. Consider professional swim lessons for babies or swimming lessons for toddlers.
Professional swimming classes for the youngest swimmers focus on making babies and toddlers feel comfortable in the water. Before learning to swim, they must get acquainted with important water safety skills first. This may include anything from blowing bubbles and putting their face in the water to simply holding their breath and learning proper body position.
Step 2. Fence in your pool.
Do you have your own swimming pool? Are you considering introducing your baby or toddler to the water in a large inflatable pool? Either way, you must remember to put fencing around both. Because inflatable pools are considered portable, they fall outside of many state regulations, so it’s up to you to enact common-sense safety measures. The AAP recommends installing a four-sided fence at least four feet tall with no footholds or handholds that could help a child climb it, if you have any kind of pool in your yard. Not sure about pool regulations? The American Red Cross offers an affordable online class that can help to help you ensure your pool is set up properly. Along with swim lessons for babies or swimming lessons for toddlers, this will go a long way for the safety of your child.
Step 3. Learn CPR.
As a parent or caretaker of a child that’s learning to swim, it is extremely important to learn infant and child CPR if you haven’t already. That’s because CPR recommendations vary by age group, and there are very specific differences for each. The National Institutes of Health provide guidelines for performing CPR on children between the ages of 1 and 8, and you can learn them by taking a class. Find a CPR training course near you through the American Heart Association.
Step 4. Purchase the right gear.
As part of swimming classes, your child should have the right gear. Keep in mind that the AAP warns against the use of inflatable swimming aids that can easily lose air and aren’t technically designed to keep young swimmers safe. A life preserver or life jacket can be used instead. A pair of high-quality water goggles can help your toddlers see under water, and swimming caps can help keep your child’s hair out of their face.
Follow these simple steps when your child is learning to swim and they’ll get accustomed to the water swimmingly!