It’s time for Swim School owners, Swimming Teachers and parents to pop open the Champagne and celebrate. A study conducted by America’s National Institute of Health reveals that participating in formal swimming lessons is associated with an 88% rate to reduce the risk of drowning in children aged 1 to 4 years. (Archives Pediatric Medicine, Vol 163 No 3, March 2009).
For many of us, this study into how swimming lessons reduce the risk of drowning confirms what we experience first-hand. From our own anecdotal evidence, we know that swimming lessons reduce the risk of drowning. Learning to swim from infancy can:
- Teach children to respect the water, which makes them less likely to get themselves into dangerous swimming situations such as drowning
- Teach children safe swimming skills, which may one day save their life
- Encourage parents to actively engage with their children during water related and swimming activities.
Learning to Swim Provides Safety Skills
But parents – there are even more reasons to celebrate! After teaching thousands of children to swim over the past 40 years, we feel confident that learning to swim provides safety skills and prevents drowning. It also has social, emotional and health benefits for your children. Laurie believes that learning to swim improves children’s physical development and coordination and enhances children’s health, fitness and muscle tone.
Swimming also builds children’s independence, confidence and social skills and provides a perfect opportunity for parents to interact and bond with their children.
Learning Through Exploration and Play
So now that you’re armed with all the great news, it’s time to get in the water and embark on an incredible journey with your child as they learn to swim. One of the best ways for children and parents to learn to swim is through exploration and play. Parents should always be within arm’s reach of their children to prevent drowning, and actively engage with them. It’s important to give them the freedom and opportunity to explore the shallow and deep ends of the water.
Through this independent exploration, children begin to learn their capabilities, boundaries and gain respect for the water. Through play, children will often experiment with breath control and floating activities. Parents should encourage this type of play whilst keeping in mind that floating is the basis of learning to swim.
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