Drowning is the leading cause of injury-related death among children between 1-4 years old, and and the fifth leading cause of death among children. Children ages 4 and up should have swimming lessons.
It is vitally important that your child learns to swim at an early age to prevent the unthinkable from happening. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that nearly all children age 4 and over should have swimming lessons, based on the child’s developmental readiness, of course.
Even children ages 1-3 are at a lower risk of drowning if they have formal swimming lessons, so consider them for your toddler as well. Interestingly, there is no evidence to support that swimming lessons or water survival skills courses can prevent drowning in infants under a year of age. For all children, regardless of swimming skill level, constant supervision is a must.
The AAP recommends swim lessons as early as 1 year of age for many children as a layer of protection against drowning.
Reviewed by Dr. Kristie Rivers, September 2020