How Young Should You Start Your Kids on Swim Lessons?

Spring is blooming this week and that means summer is just a few short months away and before we’re out splashing around in the water with the little ones this year, the American Academy of Pediatrics has some new advice on drowning prevention. The group now recommends kids start swimming lessons around one year of age to cut their risk of drowning.

According to the AAP, swimming lessons for little ones should focus on teaching kids basic water skills and water safety. They also warn that all children and teens need to wear life jackets anytime they’re around bodies of water. Drowning is one of the biggest causes of death in kids, with almost 1,000 happening in the U.S. every year, so these new recommendations have been updated to educate parents and to help prevent accidents, injuries, and deaths.

“When a child is in and around water, we need constant attentive supervision, touch supervision, which means they are within an arm’s length of that child when they are in the water,” explains emergency physician and an author of the report Dr. Sarah Denny.

The AAP also points out that swimming is a family activity, so parents should know how to swim as well. Here are some of their other drowning prevention tips:

  • Never leave kids alone or in the care of another child while in or near bathtubs, pools, spas, or other open water.
  • Adults should empty buckets and other containers of water after using because even a small amount of water can be dangerous for a young child.
  • Never leave young kids alone in the bathroom.
  • The supervising adult should focus on the child in the water, even with older kids and better swimmers around.

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Photo Credit: Getty Images

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