We have already learned how swimming can be the best exercise for you. Additionally, a great way for children to bond with their parents is by participating in family activities. One of the best activities you can engage in with your children is taking a dip in the pool. There are many great reasons to get your little one into a pair of swimming togs and take the plunge. Here, we outline why children should be learning to swim early on.
Learning to Swim Early Reduces the Risk of Drowning
We have all witnessed news headlines of young children tragically drowning, or being involved in near drowning incidents, from falling into an open water area. These kinds of accidents happen much too often and we are doing everything in our power to see these numbers drop to zero. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), swimming lessons taken as a layer of protection against drowning can begin for many children starting from age 1.
By taking your child into the pool, you can begin teaching them the necessary water safety skills which may save their lives. This is a very important reason as to why children should be learning to swim early on. Also, by bringing them to the pool, you can teach them about pool safety and when it is okay to get in.
Improves Cognitive Functioning
Whilst swimming, your child moves their arms and legs at the same time. This will help with building the neurons throughout their brain, and facilitates communication, feedback and modulation from one side of the brain to other. This, in turn, can help to improve their other skills later on in life. It can help to improve:
- reading skills
- language development
- academic learning and
- spatial awareness
Opportunities to access swimming and water safety programs may help them to develop their reading and language skills faster, as well as help them with spatial awareness. According to Healthline, bilateral cross-pattern movements, which uses both sides of the body to carry out an action, can help your child’s brain to grow. Swimming is also a unique social experience, which furthers its brain-boosting power.
Learning to Swim Early on Builds Muscles
Swimming is important because it helps promote muscle development and control. Your child will need to develop the muscles in their legs to help them stand up, and walk better. The muscles in their neck are strengthened, which helps them hold their heads up, and their core muscles, to coordinate with the rest of their body, is also built up. It will also help improve their joints.
A four-year study of more than 7,000 children by the Griffith Institute for Educational Research suggests that children who learn to swim are advanced in physical and mental development when compared to their peers who don’t swim.
Specifically, 3 to 5-year-olds who were swimmers, were 11 months ahead of the normal population when it came to verbal skills, six months ahead in math skills, and two months ahead in literacy skills. They were also 17 months ahead in story recall and 20 months ahead in understanding directions.
Learning to Swim Early on Improves Sleep Patterns
After spending time in the pool, children tend to expend a lot of energy. It is a new setting for them, so their bodies are not used to the amount of resistance that paddling brings. They will also be working hard to keep their bodies warm internally. This will help your little one to sleep better, so try to schedule a nap after their swim, or even time their bedtime to fall straight afterwards.
For more information on being Emergency Risk Ready, click here.
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