Accidental drowning is one of the leading causes of death in young children. Swimming lessons may seem like the best way to prevent drowning. But, organizations like the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that parents think beyond swimming skills to other ways they can promote water safety.

The AAP emphasizes the importance of teaching children how to swim. There has been controversy, though, as to what age lessons should start. The AAP's current position is that children ages 1-4 may be less likely to drown if they have participated in swimming lessons. They advise parents to decide whether to enroll their children in lessons based on the child's:

  • Exposure to water sources for swimming
  • Emotional development
  • Physical abilities
  • Health conditions

However, the AAP has many other helpful suggestions that parents should consider to prevent drowning.