When Should Your Child Learn to Swim?

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Learn to Swim. Being in the water, whether it’s learning to swim or just playing, splashing and paddling, is fun for children.

Knowing how to swim is an important skill that can help keep them safe all through life. That’s why starting with a swimming lessons once your child is old enough is a smart strategy.

Even if your child is still a baby and  isn’t ready just yet, you may consider doing water play to get them primed for swimming lessons in the future.

Children develop at different rates, and not all are ready to begin swim lessons at exactly the same age. 

According to American Academic Pediatrics, the best age for children to learn standard swimming lessons is when they reach 4 years old. At this age, they already have emotional maturity, ready in physical and development abilities, able to coordinate their movements in order to swim, and also have a better comfort level in the water.

American Academic Pediatrics doesn’t recommend infant swim classes, because there is currently no evidence that infant swim programs for babies under 1 year old lower their drowning risk. Infants this age may show reflex of swimming movements, but can’t yet raise their heads out of the water well enough to breathe.

But, American Academic Pediatrics also noted that water survival skills training can help reduce drowning risk for children between ages 1-4. So, survival swimming classes that include both parents and their children are a good way to introduce water safety habits and start building swim readiness.

If you’re ever unsure when to start your child on swimming lessons, ask your child’s healthcare provider for personalized advice.