Among children under the age of 14, drowning is a leading cause of death. According to Insider, there are five children who have to visit the emergency room for nonfatal submersion injuries for every one child who drowns. If your child takes swimming lessons, it reduces his or her risk of drowning by 88%.
As a parent, you should always supervise your children near the water. Nevertheless, 80% of all child drowning deaths happen in the parents’ presence. Your children should learn to handle themselves in the water to buy time until help arrives. The following guidance for parents about swimming lessons for kids can help guide your decision.
Water holds a fascination for your children, and they are likely to run toward it as soon as they are able to walk. Kids can start swimming lessons at age 1, but if that is not possible, they should start sometime before the age of 4. However, the American Academy of Pediatrics does not recommend swim classes for infants younger than 1. Because babies cannot raise their heads out of the water on their own, there is not any quantifiable change to an infant’s risk of drowning from taking swim lessons.
Choose the instructor carefully
When choosing a swim instructor for your children, choose one who has undergone nationally recognized certification and training. The instructor you choose should also have experience specifically working with young children. Children who are afraid of the water or the instructor cannot learn the necessary skills to reduce drowning risk.
Check the class objectives
A swim class for young children should teach more than the various swimming strokes. Your children should learn water survival competency skills, such as how to get out of the water if they accidentally fall in.
Learning to swim adds a layer of protection to prevent your children from drowning. However, it is not a substitute for vigilant parental supervision.