Kids (and babies) are smarter than they appear. While temper tantrums, food fights and toilet training mishaps may cloud their moments of genius, they actually learn and adapt at an incredible rate. It makes sense, because they have such a short time to learn the skills required to become independent and fully functioning adults (whatever that is).
We realize early on that it’s our job to make sure they learn such skills and swimming crowns the top of the must-teach skill set, provoking parents to sign up for those beloved early am parent and tot lessons. Kids have fun learning to be comfortable in the water but they don’t learn any water safety skills until much later (say kindergarten) because we assume an adult will always be an arm’s length away.
But it is possible to teach a baby as young as six months to save its own life should he or she end up in water unattended. It’s a bit of a process and unlike singing “I have a little turtle named Tiny Tim” with mom, challenging a young child to float (and later swim) is slightly lower on the fun scale.
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