By Scott Coltharp, PA-C
Warm weather is quickly approaching and parents should start thinking about outdoor safety in order to be preparedfor that age-old question: When can we go swimming?
One of the questions frequently asked is what age should we begin swim lessons? The American Academy of Pediatrics supports swimming lessons for most children four years of age and older; as well as children age one to four years who are ready to learn to swim. Children develop at different rates and each child will be ready to swim at his or her own pace. There are many swim programs that teach water survival skills to children less than 12 months of age, though evidence does not support that theses skills prevent drowning. Swim lessons are beneficial for children to become comfortable in water, but parents must remember there is no substitution for supervision.Supervision for beginner swimmers and children less than four years of age means within arms’ length. As children become more accomplished swimmers then direct supervision can be used.
Furthermore, make sure to practice safety when diving. Never dive into above ground pools because they are too shallow. Also, avoid diving into the shallow end of the pool unless trained to do so. Never dive into areas where you do not know the depth of the water. Every year children and adults are severely injured when diving into natural bodies of water. Make sure you check out how deep the water is by carefully walking into the water. Central Texas can be very warm in the spring and summer months. We recommend all children should be covered up when going outside. This means hats, light weight clothing and of course sunscreen. We recommend sunscreen with protection of SPF 30 or greater.
Enjoy the warm weather and remember to be safe.