We all want our kids to learn to swim for a variety of good reasons. First and foremost, we want them to be water-safe and lower the chances of drowning. Second, swimming develops strength, coordination, and confidence. Third, it can make your kid smarter. What? It’s true. Teaching your child to swim at a young age has more benefits than you ever realized. It’s never too early to teach your child to swim.
Become Comfortable in the Water
The idea of introducing babies as young as one year of age to the water isn’t necessarily to teach them to swim. The initial goal is to have your little love become comfortable in the water and learn basic safety rules. This can help them avoid the risk of drowning later. Frequent exposure to water, especially with parent participation, does a lot to establish trust and alleviate fear. The American Association of Pediatrics says infants as young as six months of age can be taught to maneuver themselves onto their backs when immersed and to dog paddle short distances, keeping their faces out of the water.
Do you know that 46% of all Americans are so fearful of water they avoid the deep end of the pool? You may wonder how we can avoid having our children grow up with such an irrational fear. The solution is to start exposing them to swimming and water fun when they are quite young. Don’t wait. Start early.
Reduce the Risk of Drowning
Participation in swimming lessons has been shown to reduce the risk of drowning in children 1-4 years of age by as much as 88%. Once your toddler is comfortable in the water and associates it with fun and happy times, it is easy to move on to more formal lessons. Your four-year-old is not likely to be able to do the backstroke the length of the pool, but with instruction, she will certainly be able to make it to the side of the pool on her own. Formal swimming lessons definitely should be a part of any drowning prevention program.
Build Strength and Self-Confidence
Swimming is an ideal way for a child to get the exercise they need. Primarily, it builds muscles and increases strength and coordination. Also, a child who becomes proficient in a new skill develops confidence in their abilities and is less afraid of new experiences.
Make Your Child Smarter
Swimming actually helps your child’s brain grow. Specific activities that use both sides of the body to carry out an action are called bi-lateral cross patterning movements. Examples of this sort of activity are crawling, tying your shoes, running, and swimming. Cross patterning activities cause communication between the right and left hemispheres of the brain. When these electrical impulses pass freely back and forth, information is exchanged, which is critical not just for physical coordination but for cerebral development. Studies have shown that this type of movement stimulates more complex brain development.
As a result, a child encouraged to do activities involving bi-lateral cross patterning movements will have better reading skills, language development, spatial awareness, and academic achievement.
Safer, Stronger, Smarter
Are you convinced yet? Of course, the primary reason to teach our children to swim is to promote water safety and prevent drowning. However, as it turns out, there are many additional benefits to be gained, such as building strength, confidence, and coordination. The biggest surprise may be that learning to swim actually may stimulate a child’s brain in ways that accelerate intellectual development. With swimming, our kids can be safer, stronger, and smarter. We are firmly convinced that it’s never too early to teach your child to swim!
Molinari Pools is the premier swimming pool service, repair, and remodeling company in Indian River County. For over 24 years we have been deeply committed not just to our customers but to our entire community. We belong to the National Drowning Prevention Alliance and are proud to have provided swimming lessons to many children in our area. We also specialize in drowning prevention pool safety products. Please contact us today to see how we can make your backyard a safer place for the ones you love.