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Tips for keeping kids safe near water

Author Alex Bellamy
Submitted 04-05-2010

Teaching your kids to swim has several benefits including exercise, safety and fun. Enrolling your children in swim classes is often a good way to ensure they will learn to both respect the water and actually learn how to swim. But there are some things parents should consider when deciding on how to best teach about water safety.

Fathers should know that teaching their kids to swim does not make them "drown-proof" and that choosing a swimming program that’s age-appropriate is important. Lessons are available for kids of all ages – from a few months and up – but the way each age group is taught varies. Infants and toddlers, for example, should be accompanied by a parent or caregiver for lessons, which will help kids feel comfortable in the water and have fun.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children do not begin formal swimming lessons until they are at least 4 years old. Studies show that no matter when kids start taking lessons, they learn to swim well at an average age of 5 and a half.

Whether or not your child knows how to swim, it is important to be diligent about their safety around water. Children should be taught to never go near or in water without an adult and parents or other adults should always supervise kids playing in a pool. Learning CPR is also a critical way to avoid injury or death.