Swimming For Toddlers
Toddler swimming lessons are very popular, especially in the sun belt. Most pediatricians remain opposed to them for the following reasons:
- First: If your child is pushed or hurried, he can develop a fear of water.
- Second: If he is not being held and happens to go under, he can inhale enough water in the first 10 seconds to cause drowning.
- Third: Even if he can be taught how to swim, he cannot learn to save himself. Children are not able to understand the basic elements of water safety until they are 4 years old. Calling dog paddling swimming at this age can give you a false sense of security.
Here's our recommendation:
- First: If you want to acquaint your infant or toddler with water, do it in a wading pool and concentrate on having fun, not learning how to swim. Since young children can drown in a wading pool, provide constant supervision.
- Second: Enroll your youngster in swimming lessons at age 4 or 5. If you have already taught him to enjoy the water, he can learn to swim in a few days.
If you have questions about accident prevention, consult your healthcare provider.
Disclaimer: This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. It is provided for educational purposes only. You assume full responsibility for how you choose to use this information.
Author and Senior Reviewer: Barton D. Schmitt, M.D. FAAP
Last Review: 6/1/2008
Last Revised: 6/1/2000
Copyright 1994-2008 Barton Schmitt, M.D. Parent Advice Messages.