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% reduction in the risk of drowning in children aged 1 to 4 years (Archives Paediatric Medicine, Vol 163 No 3, March 2009).
For many of us this study simply confirms what we have experienced firsthand. From our own anecdotal evidence we know that swimming lessons reduce the risk of drowning and that learning to swim from infancy can:
– Teach children a respect for the water making them less likely to wander into dangerous situations – Teach children safety skills which may one day save their life – Encourage parents to actively engage with their children during water related activities
But parents there are even more reasons to celebrate. After teaching thousands of children to swim over the past 40 years, we also feel confident that learning to swim will not only provide safety, but social, emotional and health benefits to your child.
Laurie believes that learning to swim – Improves children’s physical development and coordination – Enhances children’s health, fitness and muscle tone
– Builds children’s independence, confidence and social skills – Provides a perfect opportunity for parents to interact and bond with their child.
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 is through exploration and play. Parents should always be within arm’s reach and actively engaging with their child, but give their children the freedom and opportunity to explore both the deep and shallow water.
Through this independent exploration children begin to learn their capabilities, boundaries and a respect for the water. Through play, children will often experiment with breath control and floating activities. Parents should encourage this type of play keeping in mind that floating is the basis of all learn to swim.