As a swim instructor, I am often asked, “What age should I sign my child up for swim lessons?” My answer? Infant and toddler swim lessons are the first step in drowning prevention. So, the earlier the better. Often times, there is an assumption that starting lessons at such a young age is unnecessary. I’m often asked why start them in lessons so young? There are so many benefits to starting your infant or toddler in lessons. Let’s break it down:
The American Association of Pediatrics now recommends swimming lessons for kiddos starting at age 1. After years of stating that swim lessons not be started until 4 years of age or older, they are now finding that starting swimming lessons earlier is one of the most important layers of protection against accidental drownings.
- Drowning is the single leading cause of injury related death among children ages 1 to 4
- Babies aged 6 months and older can learn to survive in the water.
- Swimming lessons aren’t just for kids! It’s a great way for parents to become informed about water safety and drowning prevention.
- Children who start swimming lessons earlier tend to be less fearful and negative about swimming.
- Enrolling your young children in formal swimming lessons can reduce the risk of drowning by 88%!
- Need more information about drowning facts and prevention? Read our post here.
Cognitive and Social Benefits
Swimming also helps improve cognitive functioning for infants and toddlers. For instance, this includes (but is not limited to):
A 4 year study of 7,000 children by Griffith University in Australia suggests that kids that swim have advances in physical and mental development compared to kids that don’t swim. When looking at the study, they found that 3 to 5 year old children who swam were 11 months ahead of the normal population in verbal skills. Even more, those children were 6 months ahead in math, 2 months ahead in story recall and 20 months ahead in understanding directions.
Furthermore, a 2010 study suggests that 4 year old kids who had taken lessons between 2 months and 4 years of age were better at handling new situations. These kids also had higher levels of self confidence and were more independent. How cool is that!?
We Can Help!
Want to know more about swim lessons for your infant or toddler?Interested in registering your child for lessons? Wisconsin Swim Academy can help! Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call at 920-427-8286 to get registered for lessons today!