May 24th, 2010
08:54 AM ET

Most kids under 4 should learn to swim, pediatricians say

By Sabriya Rice
CNN Medical Producer

Parents should consider swimming lessons for most children between ages 1 and 4, the American Academy of Pediatrics urges  in new guidelines on drowning prevention and water safety. The guidance is a change from previous recommendations.

“In light of new research that has revealed that swim instruction for children 1 to 4 years of age may decrease drowning, it is reasonable for the AAP to relax its policy regarding the age at which children should start learning water-survival skills,” the authors say in the report.

Previously, the AAP discouraged swimming lessons for this age group, noting a lack of evidence on whether these children were developmentally ready. The new guidelines, however, do not extend to all children under 4. The AAP still does not recommend swimming lessons before age 1, and says children with motor or cognitive disabilities may not be not be ready for swimming lessons until a later age.

Drowning is the second-leading cause of death for children ages 1 to 19, according to the AAP report. New data from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commissions finds children between the ages of 1 and 2 represent 47 percent of submersion injuries and 53 percent of fatalities for children younger than 15. In light of those statistics, the CPSC launched Poolsafety.gov as as an educational resource for parents, providing pool safety videos and links to resources on drowning prevention.

“Children need to learn to swim,” say the authors of the Pediatrics report. But they also warn parents not to equate swimming lessons with “drown proofing.” They recommend a multilayered safety approach because, as they note, even children with advanced swimming skills can still drown. Beside swimming lessons, here are three additional things parents can do:

Fence in your pool: Many parents do not consider putting fencing around large inflatable pools,the AAP says,  and because these pools are considered to be portable, they fall outside of many state regulations. The AAP recommends parents install a four-sided fence that is at least 4 feet high if you have any kind of pool in your back yard. The American Red Cross also offers a home pool maintenance class online to help you ensure your pool is set up properly. The two-hour class costs $19.95 and you receive a manual to keep at your home.

Learn CPR: According to the NIH, “all parents and those who take care of children should learn infant and child CPR if they haven't already.” But note that CPR recommendations vary by age group. You can find a CPR training class near you through the American Heart Association, and the National Institutes of Health has guidelines for performing CPR on children between the ages of 1 and 8.

Purchase the proper gear: The AAP warns against using inflatable swimming aids because they can easily lose air and they “are not designed to keep swimmers safe.” On the academy's  website, parents can view a list of the types of personal flotation devices approved by the U.S. Coast Guard.

Editor's Note: Medical news is a popular but sensitive subject rooted in science. We receive many comments on this blog each day; not all are posted. Our hope is that much will be learned from the sharing of useful information and personal experiences based on the medical and health topics of the blog. We encourage you to focus your comments on those medical and health topics and we appreciate your input. Thank you for your participation.

soundoff (1,006 Responses)
  1. orange county car upholstery

    This is the right site for everyone who wants to understand this topic. You understand a whole lot its almost hard to argue with you (not that I personally will need to…HaHa). You definitely put a fresh spin on a topic which has been discussed for ages. Excellent stuff, just wonderful!


    May 27, 2021 at 10:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. RV Storage Los Angeles


    May 27, 2021 at 10:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. rv services near me


    May 27, 2021 at 10:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. India Dalaq


    May 27, 2021 at 12:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Unitmerienepeft

    cialis at canadian pharmacy https://tadacipetadalafil.com/ – what is tadalafil cheap generic cialis for sale what is tadalafil https://tadalafilww.com/

    May 27, 2021 at 14:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. body repair near me


    May 27, 2021 at 16:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. rv refrigerator repair company

    Oh my goodness! Amazing article dude! Thank you, However I am going through problems with your RSS. I don’t know the reason why I cannot join it. Is there anybody else getting similar RSS issues? Anyone who knows the answer can you kindly respond? Thanx!!


    May 27, 2021 at 19:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. RV Sound System Orange County


    May 27, 2021 at 22:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. RV Alignment Orange County

    Having read this I thought it was very enlightening. I appreciate you finding the time and energy to put this information together. I once again find myself personally spending a significant amount of time both reading and posting comments. But so what, it was still worth it!


    May 27, 2021 at 23:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. upholstery orange county

    This is the right website for everyone who really wants to understand this topic. You understand a whole lot its almost hard to argue with you (not that I really would want to…HaHa). You certainly put a new spin on a subject which has been written about for ages. Wonderful stuff, just great!


    May 27, 2021 at 23:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. geico painting commercial

    Pretty! This has been a really wonderful post. Many thanks for providing this information.


    May 28, 2021 at 01:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. CrulkAsd

    cialis with dapoxetine without prescription mastercard https://cialisjla.com/ – overnight pharmacy 4 u cialis purchase cialis with paypal

    May 28, 2021 at 02:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. california horse trailers

    I couldn’t refrain from commenting. Perfectly written!


    May 28, 2021 at 04:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. rv parts riverside ca


    May 28, 2021 at 05:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. travel trailer remodeling companies

    I need to to thank you for this fantastic read!! I definitely enjoyed every bit of it. I've got you bookmarked to look at new things you post…


    May 28, 2021 at 13:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. ZisseVed

    coupons for cialis 5mg https://krocialis.com/ – when is cialis going generic what is cialis used for

    May 28, 2021 at 14:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. rv toilet parts near me


    May 28, 2021 at 15:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. RV Bathroom California

    Hi, I do believe this is an excellent site. I stumbledupon it 😉 I am going to return once again since I book marked it. Money and freedom is the greatest way to change, may you be rich and continue to guide others.


    May 28, 2021 at 16:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. Zisseloh

    cialis super active plus reviews https://rcialisgl.com/ – cialis prescription assistance program differences between viagra and cialis

    May 28, 2021 at 16:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. RV Furniture Orange County

    Good information. Lucky me I came across your site by accident (stumbleupon). I've saved as a favorite for later!


    May 28, 2021 at 18:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. Repair Sprinter

    I used to be able to find good advice from your content.


    May 28, 2021 at 19:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. RV Mattresses California


    May 28, 2021 at 20:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. Mercedes Sprinter 3.0 Intake Runner Repair


    May 28, 2021 at 21:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. remodeling rv interior

    Hi, I do believe this is an excellent web site. I stumbledupon it 😉 I am going to come back once again since i have bookmarked it. Money and freedom is the best way to change, may you be rich and continue to help other people.


    May 28, 2021 at 21:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. RV Kitchen California

    Hello there! This blog post couldn’t be written any better! Going through this post reminds me of my previous roommate! He continually kept talking about this. I most certainly will forward this post to him. Pretty sure he'll have a good read. I appreciate you for sharing!


    May 28, 2021 at 22:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. EncoxDev

    precision rx specialty pharmacy wisconsin canadian pharmacies mckesson pharmacy rx

    May 28, 2021 at 22:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. rv services near me


    May 28, 2021 at 23:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. interstate collision center


    May 29, 2021 at 00:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. Sprinter Van Restoration


    May 29, 2021 at 05:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. EncoxAni

    online pharmacy vicodin https://pharmacyken.com/ – thai pharmacy online online pharmacy for viagra

    May 29, 2021 at 08:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. EncoxHtf

    cialis one a day with dapoxetine canada https://cialishav.com/ – cialis for daily use coupon cialis 5 mg coupon

    May 29, 2021 at 08:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. https://www.shinsen-mart.com

    Best view i have ever seen !


    May 29, 2021 at 09:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. EncoxAni

    provigil online pharmacy https://pharmacyken.com/ – online medicine shopping humana pharmacy online

    May 29, 2021 at 11:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. ZisseVed

    cialis price online https://krocialis.com/ – how much does cialis 5mg cost female cialis no prescription

    May 29, 2021 at 13:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. Sprinter Van Wrap Shop Near Me

    Having read this I believed it was rather enlightening. I appreciate you taking the time and effort to put this content together. I once again find myself personally spending a lot of time both reading and commenting. But so what, it was still worthwhile!


    May 29, 2021 at 13:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. Truck Alignment Shop


    May 29, 2021 at 14:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. MileSwa

    back pain from cialis https://ckacialis.com/ – 30 day free cialis cheap genieric cialis

    May 29, 2021 at 14:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. Box Truck Maintenance

    It’s hard to come by experienced people in this particular topic, however, you seem like you know what you’re talking about! Thanks


    May 29, 2021 at 18:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. Internet Marketing Service

    Good day! I could have sworn I’ve been to your blog before but after browsing through many of the posts I realized it’s new to me. Regardless, I’m definitely pleased I found it and I’ll be bookmarking it and checking back frequently!


    May 29, 2021 at 21:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. CrulkAsd

    cialis no prescription overnight shipping https://cialisjla.com/ – cialis without perscriptions buy cialis

    May 30, 2021 at 10:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. Digital Marketing Services

    This is a topic that's near to my heart... Thank you! Where are your contact details though?


    May 30, 2021 at 12:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. Internet Marketing Company


    May 30, 2021 at 15:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. Video Marketing Business

    Pretty! This has been an extremely wonderful post. Thank you for supplying this information.


    May 30, 2021 at 21:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. Sprinter Van Collision Repair


    May 30, 2021 at 23:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. Zisseloh

    generic cialis overnight shipping https://rcialisgl.com/ – side effect of cialis cialis over the counter at walmart

    May 30, 2021 at 23:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. RV Ac Repair Near Me


    May 31, 2021 at 00:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. RV Roof Repair Near Me

    Aw, this was an exceptionally good post. Taking a few minutes and actual effort to produce a good article… but what can I say… I put things off a lot and don't manage to get nearly anything done.


    May 31, 2021 at 02:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. Roadtrek Repair

    Greetings! Very useful advice within this post! It is the little changes that produce the most important changes. Thanks for sharing!


    May 31, 2021 at 03:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. RV Fiberglass Repair Near Me


    May 31, 2021 at 04:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. Sprinter Van Roof Repair

    Pretty! This was an incredibly wonderful article. Thank you for supplying this information.


    May 31, 2021 at 05:17 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21

Leave a Reply to laura


CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.