Swimming lessons for toddlers?

22 07 2008

I read an interesting article on swimming lessons for toddlers today. The author thinks you should forgo lessons for children under age 4. The AAP says Regardless of the program design or focus, infant and toddler aquatic programs are unable to ensure that children will understand water hazards, use appropriate avoidance strategies, or attain program safety goals. Currently, no data are available to determine if infant and toddler aquatic programs increase or decrease the likelihood of drowning. Programs that claim to make children safe in water or safe from drowning are misrepresenting what is possible and are giving parents a false sense of security about their child’s safety in the water.

I have been considering swimming lessons for Bean especially since the grandparents have a pool and our health insurance will reimburse us for at least one class. I never considered that a lesson would replace proper supervision of toddlers in a pool just as I don’t envision my little Bean to become the next Elaine Breeden after a few lessons at the Y either. From what I understand, swimming lessons with babies and toddlers are just for getting out of the house and splashing around. Are there really programs that claim to make children safe in water?