Swimming is offered (at an added cost) through the Mount Pleasant Recreation Center. During the summer we take them weekly. Children learn the basics of swimming safety and how to swim. Swimming is offered to ages 2 1/2 years old & up. They learn the basics of swimming as well as water safety that is appropriate to their age.
At What Age Should Children Learn to Swim?
There are multiple opinions on the age at which children should start swimming. Truly teaching children with the intention of drowning prevention should begin around the age of 6 months. But when should lessons start and can these lessons put children at risk? The American Academy of Pediatrics in their 2010 Statement on Drowning warn against initiating lessons in children less then 4 years old due to the following reasons:
- lack of information on such programs
- it may cause a false sense of security among parents and they may not adequately supervise children around water
- children may be tempted to enter the water without supervision
What Does this Mean?
This does not mean the young children should not learn how to swim. This means that parents need to use common sense when it comes to kids and water safety.
- Children should wear life jackets when on a boat or dock.
- NEVER even for a moment leave kids unattended in a pool or body of water. Even a kiddy pool.
- If you have a pool or live in an apartment complex with a pool make sure it is secure.
- Pool drains should have a safety cover.
- Children need to continue to learn to swim.
- Parents and pool owners need to learn CPR.
- Do not use inflatable devices in place of life jackets.
- If you can go to a pool, beach or lake that has a lifeguard.
- Educate your self about drowning risks and teach them to your children when appropriate.
When making the decision to give your child swimming lessons, if you have concerns you should discuss it with your child’s pediatrician.