Scientists at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences found that early swimming lessons were associated with a lower risk of drowning. “It’s hard to know if it’s the swimming lessons themselves that are beneficial,” Dr. Taneja said. “One could say, maybe the type of caregivers and parents that put children in swimming lessons are more vigilant.”

The parents who bring their children to swim lessons do seem to be vigilant and attentive. If the child is reluctant to swim that day, it is fine: I show the parent things they can do when the child is more comfortable to try things. It is great when the class has a group of children who meet regularly to learn to swim. I notice the reluctant ones do listen and observe, and they tend to try things out when they feel like it. I have returned to find the following week that the child has tried what we were working on, and they are proud that they got it.

But the statement that rings so true for me in these articles is: you must be attentive to the child always around water. Even if they seem good in water.

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