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When Should You Sign Your Child Up for Swim Lessons?

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) notes that children develop at different rates, and not all are ready to begin swim lessons at the same age. When deciding whether to enroll your child in lessons, keep your child's emotional maturity, physical and developmental abilities and limitations, and comfort level in the water in mind.   

Keeping that in mind, the AAP recommends swim lessons as a layer of protection against drowning for children as young as 1 year old. YMCAs, public pools, and private companies offer parent and child classes that introduce children to the water, start building swimming skills, and reduce the risk of drowning.  

By age 4, most children are ready to start beginner lessons where they learn to float, tread water, and make it to an exit point. By age 5 or 6, most children can master a front crawl, a basic stroke used in freestyle swimming. 

Swimming lessons do not provide 100 percent protection from drowning. Adults still must supervise children while they are in the water. If you have a private pool, ensure children cannot access the pool without the assistance of an adult. 

Marine Corps Community Services pools offer parent and child classes 6 months to 3 years old and swim lessons for children ages 4-14. Contact your local Aquatics program for more information.

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