Being the new owner of a pool I'm concerned with kids falling into it and not knowing how to swim. My best friend has 3 kids ages 4,2 and 1 who come swimming and the more comfortable they get around the water the more adventurous they become. Just this past week they graduated to jumping in from the edge. They haven't taken professional swim lessons yet but always have safety floats and an adult with them. That still causes me some anxiety however. So how early is too early to teach your child to swim?

I recently saw a documentary about how babies instinctively know how to swim. Babies spend 9 months suspended in amniotic fluid in the womb and therefore know to hold their breath underwater; but as for swimming, that is something they must learn. Most swim classes will take babies as young as 6 months old.

I ran across a story where a couple was being criticized for teaching their 16 month old to swim without any help. Now this doesn't mean they let the child out swimming without supervision, but it does mean she could float or swim to safety if she needed. That sounds like a great idea to me and I'm not sure why anyone would be against it, especially with close to 4,000 deaths each year are due to drowning.

The Infant Swimming Resource teaches babies as young as 6 months up to 6 years to save themselves if they end up in the water alone. Children learn to 'float' and what's called the 'swim-float-swim' technique to keep them safe until help arrives. Of course, teaching them to swim allows them to enjoy the water for fun as well as safety.

What do you think, what age is 'too young' to learn to swim?