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The American Academy of Pediatrics now says it's fine to enroll kids as young as 1 year of age in swimming lessons, relaxing its stance against swimming lessons for children younger than 4.

Previously, the Academy advised that swim classes for toddlers could give them and their parents a false sense of security around water and lead to increased risk of drowning. However, a few small studies now suggest toddlers may be less likely to drown if they've had swim lessons. 

The updated policy, released online this week by the journalPediatrics, also recommends fences around all pools, whether they are community pools or backyard pools. 

The rate of childhood drowning deaths has declined in recent years. About 1,100 U.S. children drowned in 2006. 

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