O'Neil said she warns parents against intense survival-like swimming lessons before age one.
"Certainly splashing around a pool is fine," said O'Neil. "If they swallow too much water, it can lower their sodium levels in their body and that can be dangerous."
Because each child develops differently, it's difficult to tell which child will benefit from swimming lessons early on, according to the AAP.
"A parent's decision about starting swimming lessons or water-survival skills training at an early age must be individualized on the basis of the child's frequency of exposure to water, emotional maturity, physical limitations, and health concerns related to swimming pools," according to the policy statement.
Dr. Joseph Gigante, associate professor of general pediatrics at Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt University, said that he'd recommend infants who are always supervised splashing around and enjoying the water.
"The harm may be the false sense of security that an infant can save themselves at drowning," said Gigante. "Just because they can perform in front of an instructor doesn't mean it can prevent drowning."
But Moore said she has had parents tell her their children have successfully used the technique on their own. Still, she said, the class does not give parents the license to leave their child alone near water.
"We just like to encourage people to take the safety precautions but to also use this as a method," she said.