Flip Flop: Swimming Lesson for Infants Now Endorsed by American Academy of Pediatrics

By: Aaron Luna Email
By: Aaron Luna Email

For years the American Academy of Pediatrics warned parents not to give their children under the age of four swimming lessons. But now a new study suggests the opposite.

15-month-old Sean Prestangen jumped into his first swimming lesson today. His father Kyle, says, "it was important to us to get him started early so that he would be comfortable." For Kyle and wife Brenda water has always been a big draw and past time and they wanted Sean to enjoy it too. “We've had him in the pool a couple of times before but it was good to see and try some different activities," says, Prestangen.

Lincoln Park–Moyer pool teaches swim classes, called aqua tots, for infants to 3-year-olds. Pool manager Paige Hatten says instructors teach everything from blowing bubbles to kicking. "Learning how to float and teaching the parents how to keep their kids safe and secure," says Hatten.

For years the American Academy of Pediatrics actually warned against this. Dr. Early Denison, says, "The thinking is that kids don't have the gross motor skills until they're four years old and if they're participating in swim lessons that might make parents less vigilant and there by indirectly increase the risk of drowning."

Now a recent study by the National Institute of Health found just the opposite. Saying lessons can actually provide some protection against drowning.

Hatten says early learning gives kids confidence when learning more advanced swimming techniques. "Helps them when they do need to get in the water with not mom and dad anymore it's just them and the instructor."

The Academy is now changing their stance but says it’s important not to forget pool safety, and always keep an eye on your child.

Prestangen says of Sean’s first lesson, "It looked like he was having a great time and I like some of the stuff they're doing."

Swim lessons can run you aroun 30 dollars at Lincoln Park Moyer Pool.

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