Swimming for children
In a previous article we discussed the health benefits of swimming (some swimmers even enjoy swimming in cold water). Since swimming is such a popular form of exercise, many parents like to get their children into swimming from an early age. While children experience the same health benefits as adults, there are also some notable psychological benefits which makes swimming an even greater activity for children.
Young children aren’t able to perceive dangerous situations in the same way that adults are, which is why supervision at all times is a must when taking your child swimming. If you have a pool at home, it is recommended that you purchase a security cover to prevent the child (or any pets) from falling into the water occidentally. Fencing and locking of doors is also highly recommended if you have a pool at home.
Family bonding and social skills
There’s no need to rush your child into learning the particular strokes. Simply allowing your child to experience floating in the water can be a soothing experience for them. Additionally, swimming is an opportunity for your child to increase their social acuity and learn how to interact with others. Swimming can become a great family outing that your child will look forward to. Perhaps you can even use a trip to the pool as a reward for good behaviour!
Evidence suggests that swimming helps children to develop coordination, since the activity requires combined movements of different body parts. In addition to this, since swimming stimulates the cardiovascular system, the increase in blood to the brain will promote mental clarity and encourage positive emotions.
Learning a skill
In order to master any skill, consistent practice over a period of time is required; incremental progress eventually leads to expertise. This process is transferable to any skill; so what better way to teach your child about learning itself than by encouraging them to participate in a mood-boosting activity which also promotes good health?
Because of the low resistance of water, hydrotherapy is often used to rehabilitate athletes in a manner where they can exercise the injured body part but without the risk of more damage. By getting your child into swimming from an early age, the resistance of water promotes muscular growth which will help the child’s physical development. For this reason, swimming is often recommended for babies that are born prematurely.
Along with learning the ins and outs of swimming, another related skill-set is pool safety. Knowing how to resuscitate an unconscious person and perform CPR might come in handy one day when your child is put in a position where they have the chance to save someone’s life! Learning such skills at a young age could provide the foundations for lifeguard qualifications.
It’s never too early to swim!
While most children don’t take swimming lessons until they are four years old, swimming can actually begin from birth. With associations such as Water Babies, you can find out all the information you need in order to take your child swimming, as well as find a class in your local area.