When Should My Child Learn to Swim?

When Should My Child Learn to Swim?

Children need to learn to swim. The AAP supports swimming lessons for most children 4 years and older, and for children 1 to 4 years of age who are ready to learn how to swim. Keep in mind that because children develop at different rates, each child will be ready to swim at her own time.


Some factors you may consider before starting swimming lessons for younger children include:

  • Frequency of exposure to water
  • Emotional maturity
  • Physical limitations
  • Health concerns related to swimming pools (for example, swallowing water, infections, pool chemicals)

While some swim programs claim to teach water survival skills to children less than 12 months old, evidence does not show that they are effective in preventing drowning. Swim lessons do not provide “drown-proofing” for children of any age, so supervision and other layers of protection are necessary even for children who have learned swimming skills.

Our area has many indoor pools with zero-entry access that offer both structured lessons and playtime for practice at a variety of price points.

Diving Safety

Serious spinal cord injuries, permanent brain damage, and death can occur to swimmers who dive into shallow water or spring upward on the diving board and hit it on the way down.

Keep safe by following these simple common-sense diving rules.

  • Check how deep the water is. Enter the water feet first, especially when going in for the first time.
  • Never dive into above-ground pools; they are usually not deep enough.
  • Never dive into the shallow end of a pool.
  • Never dive through inner tubes or other pool toys.
  • Learn how to dive properly by taking classes.

For more information please see: https://www.healthychildren.org/English/safety-prevention/at-play/Pages/Swimming-Pool-Safety.aspx

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