A new study from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development ( what a mouthful) has found that when kids between 1 and 4 take formal swimming lessons, their risk of drowning decreases significantly. Keep in mind what "formal" means though; just showing your toddler how to paddle around will not protect them. When choosing a swimming program for your aspiring Michael Phelps ( bong not included) look for these things:
An instructor who's certified
A national program such as YMCA or the American red Cross gets high marks
A positive attitude toward parents
Parents are usually involved with the kids 3 and under and sit on the sidelines for the older kids
An ideal teacher-to-child ratio
parent child class=1:1o ration and kid only=1:4 ratio
An emphasis on water safety skills
how to climb out of the pool, no running, ask before jumping in etc.
Limited use of floatation devices
good for playing games, but not ideal for most of the session
Thanks to Parenting magazine!