Swimming is an exciting, enriching experience for whoever is involved, not only does it teach life skills and water safety principles from such a young age but it also enhances the way babies and toddlers learn other skills. This post will explore some important reasons to get splashing before your child reaches their first birthday.
Firstly, swimming from such a young age teaches the principles of water safety, I started swimming when I was 3months old in our local dam where not only was I taught the basic principles of water safety but so were my parents. Tragically, drowning is the third biggest cause of accidental death in the UK. In Singapore, where there are no fences around pools, there has been a 10% increase on the number of drowning cases (Straits Times). Therefore, learning to get to the side, hold on, get out and/or swim could help to save your child’s life one day.
Secondly, its great for their physical and mental health. With the rapid increase of childhood obesity levels, swimming is a great way of getting little ones loving the water and exercising from a young age. Each lesson with Swish provides a complete physical workout, which aims in strengthening your child’s heart and lungs and furthermore enhancing your child’s cognitive capabilities.
What many believe to be the most important benefit for both parent and child is the fact that swimming from an early age promotes bonding. The skin-to-skin contact strengthens the bond between you and your little one and with mothers generally having the most bonding opportunities, swimming is an extraordinary way for fathers to spend some one-on-one time with their children.
Many children who are introduced to the water for the first time later in their life may develop a fear. To counteract the possibility of this, introducing children to water at a very young age helps prevent this fear. Exercises that involve moving independently in water and holding onto the side are great ways to boost your baby’s confidence. Furthermore, many parents agree that handling their baby in water is great for them too, especially if they themselves cannot swim.
Finally, responding to repetitive voice commands can sharpen your baby’s mental skills and increase their level of understanding. A German study found that babies who undertake swimming lessons had advanced motor and cognitive development than those babies that did not swim. Furthermore, the Early Years Swimming Project conducted at Griffith University found that by the time they start school, children who swim in the early years are ahead of non-swimmers by up to 15 months when it comes to solving math problems, language and following instructions.