Since it is summer here in Australia, I thought it would be an appropriate time to talk abut teaching your children to swim. My Husband and always knew from the start that both of our children would be learning to swim as soon as they were old enough.
At the swim centre that we attend they start children as young as 5months and as soon as both the girls turned 5 months old we had them in the water. Or should I say back in the water (As they already had spent 9 months in a liquid environment.).
|Miss A (approx 5 months old) awaiting her first lesson. You can already see she is excited|
So why teach them to swim at such a young age? My parents live near the beach and my husband believed it is imperative that they were both water confident and they knew how to swim for their own safety. Me: I learnt to swim at a young age and I have no fear of the water unlike my dad who is terrified of water and says it is only for drinking and bathing (hehehe) I shouldn't laugh but my dad was born in England.
|I Love Swimming My eldest dd awaiting her lesson|
There are other benefits to learning to swim at a young age to and here they are.
|Miss A enjoying her first swimming lesson with her Daddy|
|Miss S is now in the water without a parent but loves swimming|
- Babies less than a year old except the water more readily
- Fear of water is acquired as children grow older: the longer a child is kept away from water the more likely they are to develop a fear of the water
- Babies can exercise more muscles in the water, they are less restricted by gravity and their ability to sit or stand. This increased strength often manifest in early acquisitions of physical skills like walking.
- Swimming improves babies cardiovascular fitness. Although babies are limited in how much they can can improve their endurance. Swimming does have a beneficial effect.
- Early mastery of water movements gives children a head start in learning basic swimming skills.
- Water helps improve co-ordination and balance by forcing babies to move bilaterally to maintain their equilibrium.
- Warm water combined with gentle exercise relaxes and stimulates babies appetites. They usually eat and sleep better on swimming days
- Doctors often recommend swimming as the exercise of choice for asthmatics. For many asthmatics, exercise produces bronchial hyperactivity. Swimming stimulates less wheezing than other forms of exercise, possibly because the warm, moist around the pools is less irritating on the lungs.
- Babies flourish in the focused attention their parents lavish on them during swimming
- Swimming provides babies with lots and lots of skin to skin contact with their parents which psychologists say may deepen the bond between parent and child. (Both my girls swim with their dad. We have made swimming their special thing with Daddy)
- Learning to swim is not only fun, healthy activity but a safety measure as well. (Drowning is the major of accidental death in under 5 in Australia and many who don't drown are left with permanent brain damage)
|Eagerly awaiting instruction|
|Learning from Sue the teacher|
|Fun on the mat|
|Enjoying time with Daddy. Miss A's first lesson|