Baby swimming lessons and drown-proofing

More than half of child drowning’s in the USA occur in home swimming pools and another third at friends, neighbours or relatives.

Statistics tell us that the infant will usually have last been seen in the house, been missing for under 5 minutes and been in the care of one or both parents at the time. Drownings happen fast, and the effects are devastating!

To guard against drowning, always remember to:

  • Supervise your infant at all times
  • Fence off and/or cover your pool
  • Familiarise your infant with water – never force, rush or push into the pool

Swimming lessons for “drown proofing” are not recommended for children under two years of age as they give a false perception of safety. However, exposure to water is recommended to encourage motor skills as well as physical and emotional development.

Joining a swim class can be fun, but remember to check for the following:

  • Instructor is skilled and trained
  • Pool is clean and clear
  • Preferably salt pool rather than chlorine
  • Choose a small class (not more than 1:10)
  • Class duration of not more than 15 minutes
  • Exposure to water is gentle and gradual

This kind of exposure teaches babies not to panic, but please note that all babies may not enjoy it. Some babies hate the feel of the water or getting their face wet so don’t force it.

Baby swimming