Swimming is one activity that each and every child must be taught. It provides a great range of benefits to children. It is an excellent activity for recreation, fitness and most importantly safety. Swimming serves as a full body workout because almost every major muscle group is utilized in swimming.
A toddler as young as six months can be given swimming lessons. This is actually done in west and slowly India (Bangalore) is also introducing this age swimming classes. It is not exactly swimming lesson as children just move their hands and feet and are unable to remember or follow instructions. It is necessary for a parent or guardian to be with toddler while water activity.
The risks involved outweigh the few benefits. Baby may swallow water from pool, holding breath is risky; chances of water poisoning and adjusting to water temperature pose greater threats for babies under age two.
So practically speaking, in India the instructing class specifies 5 years as minimum age to teach a child how to swim. If you see readiness in child you can even start at 4 years of age.
This age is best because
Five years age is considered best to start but you need to consider the fact that your child must have readiness to learn swimming and face waters. Although, swimming is one activity that every child must learn for safety against drowning. But, if child is not ready, then it is better to wait for few more months or years before starting.
Safety is one of the major goals of teaching children swimming. It makes a child self sufficient and confident in case of any water related mishap especially drowning.