Tuesday, July 14, 2009

When to sign up for Swimming lessons

None of my kids can swim yet. I wish they could! I have my oldest starting swim lessons this week. He normally takes them all summer, but this year it wasn't possible with me on bed rest. I feel parent guilt. He is so close to swimming by himself, but just not there yet. Maybe these lessons will help. The problem has been trying to get him to the pool. It's hard to watch two kids who can't swim at the same time. I know some of my friends' kids who have pools or their parents have pools taught their kids to swim as young as 3 years old!

Last year on the blog we talked about the American Academy of Pediatrics stance that kids should not learn to swim until 4 years old. Many people responded in disbelief and thought that was way too old. So these new recommendations for toddler swimming lessons are probably more in-line with a parent's perspective. When did your kids learn to swim?

There is new evidence that infant and toddler swim lessons give children an added layer of protection around the water. The study by the National Institutes of Health is prompting a major policy shift by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

At just two and half years old, little Preston Crowder had a close call at his home swimming pool. "He was just getting too close to the side and ended up tumbling in head first and was probably out two or three feet."

Before his mother could react, she watched her son turn around and swim towards the pool's edge and pull him self out. It's a skill he's learned during his two years of swim lessons.

"We were completely panicked watching it, but he was fine." For years, the American Academy of Pediatrics actually warned against children under the age of four taking swim lessons.

Pediatrician Dr. Early Denison "The thinking there is that kids don't have the gross motor skills until they're four years old, and if they're participating in swim lessons that might make parents less vigilant and there by indirectly increase the risk of drowning."

But a recent study by the National Institutes of Health found that swim lessons can provide some layer of protection. So now the Academy is changing its stance, but pediatricians warn their must still be a more comprehensive water safety course.

Dr. Early Denison, Pediatrician"You still need to think about pool fences. You still need to think about CPR training for parents and caregivers and you need to think about parent vigilance."

EXPERTS SAY IF ALL THOSE SAFEGUARDS FAIL.. You absolutely want your child to learn to fall in the water, turn around and get back to the side.

-NewsAnchorMom Jen

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