Learning to swim is an essential skill that every child should know. At the very least, they need to know basic water survival skills. However, not all youngsters learn at the same pace or are ready for lessons at the same age of their peers. Parents need to be aware of those variables before trying to force their child into swimming lessons.

Infant Classes

Despite what many people claim, there’s currently no data that indicates children one year and younger have the ability to learn to swim, nor does it reduce the risk of drowning. Babies don’t have the ability to raise their head out of the water well enough to breathe. Many infants demonstrate rudimentary reflex actions similar to swimming, but it’s not actual swimming. Water play classes can be a good way to introduce babies to water, help them feel comfortable in the water, and it can be fun for parents and babies.

Ages 1 to 4

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommend that children ages 1-4 begin learning water survival training skills that include floating, treading water, and how to find an exit point. It’s the first step toward learning how to actually swim and the classes are designed to help reduce the risk of drowning. Choose classes in which parents and children both participate.

Ages 4 and Up

Most children will be ready for actual swim lessons at the age of four. They have the physical ability and can follow instructions. Youngsters can learn survival skills if they haven’t already and by the age of 5 or 6, most children can learn the front crawl.


It’s critical that parents understand that swimming classes don’t make a child drown-proof. Every precaution should be taken to prevent children from gaining access to ponds, kiddie pools and other bodies of water, even if they’ve taken a swim class.

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