Believe it or not, a lot of people are trying to teach their children as young as 12 months old to swim. Proponents of this idea cite the fact that apparently around 1,000 children pass away every year by drowning, and if they knew how to swim that could be avoided.
Now a story is circulating about Grace Fanelli, a Florida mother who taught her young children how to swim successfully at an early age. According to Unilad:
“Both Grace’s daughters learned to swim from the age of just nine months; an age when many infants are barely getting to grips with bottom shuffling.
Her eldest daughter is now three, and the youngest is just one. They are both like real life little mermaids when it comes to taking a dip.”
Apparently some direction for people to teach their infants how to swim came from a recommendation issued in the form of a statement from the American Academy of Pediatrics in 2010. According to Live Strong:
“Early instruction may help prevent drowning in young children, the second leading cause of death in youth under 19 years of age. When you begin teaching your child to swim, remember to have realistic expectations. Most young children have not yet developed the motor skills required for strong swimming skills. Concentrate instead on games that emphasize water enjoyment and skills that would help increase survival in an emergency situation.”
The morality of subjecting such a young child to swimming lessons is debatable, but it also sounds like a great thing to help a child develop a skill like that at an early age. Maybe parents should compromise and wait a little while longer in their life before asking them if they want to learn how to swim.
However, if parents help their children learn how to swim in a a gentle way and respect them sometimes it can apparently work out well, and some of these toddlers are so amazing at treading water and swimming it’s incredible.
A description of how to practice safety in the face of children unfortunately drowning every year was provided by one organization. Do you agree with the probability of what is described here? It’s probably best to take precautions no matter what as a parent, but the somewhat unlikely possibilities described are quite graphic. According to Kids Health:
“Pools, lakes, ponds, and beaches mean summer fun and cool relief from hot weather. But water also can be dangerous for kids if parents don’t take the proper precautions. Nearly 1,000 kids die each year by drowning. And most drownings happen in home swimming pools. It is the second leading cause of accidental death for people between the ages of 5 and 24.
Young children are especially at risk — they can drown in less than 2 inches (6 centimeters) of water. That means drowning can happen where you’d least expect it — the sink, the toilet bowl, fountains, buckets, inflatable pools, or small bodies of standing water around your home, such as ditches filled with rainwater. Always watch children closely when they’re in or near any water.”
It’s definitely a good idea to be as careful as possible with water and your children, and hopefully parents who teach their toddlers how to swim are very careful.