What age should kids learn to swim? According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), kids are not ready developmentally for formal swimming lessons until at least age four (4).  

How will you know when your individual child is ready?  And when they are, how will you teach them?

We answer these and other important questions about what age kids should learn to swim below. Read on for all the splashy details.

Be Sure They Are Ready

Studies have shown that enrolling kids in swimming lessons earlier than age 4 doesn’t help them learn any faster or lower their risk of drowning.

In fact, it might do more harm than good.  It can give parents a false sense of security about their toddler’s swimming ability to the point that they relax their vigilance poolside.

This doesn’t mean you can’t take your baby or toddler to a mommy n’ me swim class where one parent is in the water. These classes are fun! It’s also a great way to bond with your little one.  

Just don’t think that because your toddler has some experience in the water they are a “swimmer” and therefore safer. They still need to be supervised at all times.

A child needs to be ready, both physically and mentally, to really swim. They need to have a certain amount of strength and coordination to get in and out of the pool safely and swim for a period of time.

Infants and toddlers don’t have the motor skills needed. 

Related: Best Pool Toys And Inflatables For Kids


Look For Certified Instructors

When your child is old enough, look for a swim program with certified instructors that group kids together by experience level.

If your child is a beginner (whatever their age), you want them to be in the water with other beginners so they’re working on the right skills.

It’s also a good idea to have your child take lessons every season, particularly if you own a pool, to refresh their skill set and help them become stronger in the water.  

What age should kids learn to swim? As soon as they are physically and mentally ready!

Being a strong swimmer is a helpful advantage that could potentially save your child’s life into adulthood. So keep your kids safe around water and get them swim lessons. You’ll be glad you did.


Also in Beenke: How Can I Make My Pool And Spa Area Safer?


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