This fearless 16-month old girl is a talented little swimmer. Although the video has been on YouTube for nearly a year, it is only recently gaining viral popularity, with over 1.2 million views. How is such a tiny tot so confident in the swimming pool? This little tike learned the infant self-rescue technique, by trained instructors, to turn on her back when she needs air. Teaching a child to swim has more to do with psychology than skill and technique. Many parents fear the dangers of trying to teach children who are still developing motor and speech skills to swim, understandably. A child can drown in inches of water, so why would a parent throw their baby into an entire pool of it? Drowning rates among children have fallen by nearly 50% in the past 15 years in the United States. One of the primary reasons for this lowered number is due to prevention through educating young children. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children begin swim lessons at the age of 4, but that infant and toddler water-based programs are a great way to introduce them to the water. These programs are also beneficial to a child’s socialization skills and physical development – similar to the benefits of enrolling a small child into a dance or gymnastics class. If you want to take matters into your own hands, take your infant into a swimming pool and familiarize them with the dangers and fun of the water through kicking, dipping, pulling and floating exercises. Be sure that your little one is always closely supervised when they’re in the pool.
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