Can an infant swim ? 
Author Message
 Can an infant swim ?


>How early can an infant learn to swim? My 4 month old has been taking formal
>swimming lessons for a whole month, now, but he is not able to swim yet!
>Somehow, I was under the impression that swimming was a natural and
>instinctive skill for human infants ?!

Both of my daughters have been taking "swimming lessons" since they were
about 6 months old.  My oldest one is now 6 (years) and the younger is
3 (years).  Heather (the oldest) has been able to swim since she was about
four.  By swim, I mean that she can locomate herself in the water from one
side of the pool to the other.  Erin is just getting to the point where
my wife and I can pass her back and forth between us and she tries to kick
and pull with her arms.  I remember the first class we took and someone
asked "will my child be able to swim after this class?"  The answer
was, "if you keep coming to classes then your child should be able
to swim by the time they are 4 years old".  Needless to say, that parent
was not seen back in the class.

You should take this time to get your child used to the water.  Play with
him/her and make it a fun experience.  You should not put him/her underwater
yet.  Infants have a reflex where they will breath-hold when their face is
put in the water, which is good.  Unfortunently, this reflex goes away
and if you are not aware of it, then your child can swollow much water.
Swallowing water can lead to death in small infants.  Also be aware that
the temperature of the water can chill an infants much sooner then you.
At the pool I frequent, they have a teaching pool were the temperature
is maintained (on a good day) at over 90 degrees.

>Are there any dangers involved in using a public pool for an infant ?

Just the usual dangers concerning swimming.  That is unless the pool
supervisors do not test the water.

Steve Ostrove                           |      Email

PC/IP Group

Sat, 13 Feb 1993 23:02:29 GMT
 [ 1 post ] 

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