The Benefits of Teaching Your Kids to Swim

For parents, teaching children to swim should be part of their growing up, but it’s not always the first thing you think of if you never learned how to swim, or have fears of the water. These frustrations don’t have to be a part of your kid’s life. Swimming lessons for kids can also teach the adults to love the water as well. 

A basic swimming course can help keep kids safe around water and able to control their body while in the water. This can create a lifelong love of a fitness routine that will follow them throughout their lives. When kids develop the muscle skills to be safe and enjoy the water in the pool, they can safely explore other sports, such as scuba diving, canoeing and water rafting. Learning to swim can open the door to many other adventures.

Learning Basic Water Safety

Sadly, drowning is a leading cause of death in children. Through their natural curiosity, children are drawn to water. The danger extends beyond the backyard pool to rivers, lakes, city flood control measures and stormwater management structures – great magnets for kids out exploring the local area. Many accidents happen around ponds and other bodies of water simply because a child slips and doesn’t understand how to tread water or turn their body while in the water. Giving your child the opportunity to learn how to navigate water even if they have an accident, can give them the skills to save their life.

Swimming is a Life Skill

By learning to swim, your children will be able to engage in other water sports throughout their lifetimes. This may mean being able to swim in the ocean, learning to scuba dive along coral reefs or getting involved in competitive swimming events. The ability to swim gives everyone the opportunity to explore new options. This can include jet skiing, water skiing, surfing and kayaking. You may even find that your child enjoys synchronized swimming or competitive diving.

Swimming is Great Exercise

Understanding how to safely move one’s body through the water gives your child the skills to participate in a low-impact form of exercise. With childhood obesity on the rise, the opportunity to exercise all the muscles of the body is the perfect way to give them exercise without them even knowing it. The act of swimming has a low amount of stress of their joints and bones. This is additionally true if your child has any special needs or challenges. Swimming promotes the building of core strength which makes all other actions easier. 

Swimming is Fun

When kids are swimming, they are burning off pent up energy while also getting an amazing workout. When children are confident in the water, they will begin to be comfortable playing with their friends in and around the water. Water based games, like Marco Polo and volleyball, can build confidence and deepen friendships. When your child learns to swim and navigate water independently, you have the opportunity to relax a bit and not worry so much. This doesn’t mean that a child can swim unsupervised, there still needs to be an adult nearby or a qualified lifeguard keeping watch. That way, if there are any problems, someone will be nearby to help. 

Opportunities for the Whole Family to Spend Time Together

When your child learns to swim, this opens new opportunities for everyday and vacation opportunities. Whether it becomes a regular group activity or an opportunity to learn a new water sport, that it up to you and your child. Perhaps you can consider that Caribbean vacation that you have been eyeing for some time. Or how about a family winter weekend in one of America’s countless indoor water parks? With a child who understands water safety and can swim, many opportunities are now a possibility. 

Many Learning Opportunities

There are many things that children learn while taking swimming lessons. First of all, they will learn how to become independent and to control their behavior. Secondly, swimming lessons teach discipline and working well with others. All of these lessons end up building your child’s confidence. This confidence will play out in all areas of life forever.

Swimming is a Lifelong Joy and Skill

The American Academy of Pediatrics in recent years recommended that children can begin learning to swim as early as one year of age. As with all skills, it’s often easier to adapt to the water at a young age than when older and perhaps more fearful of water. Once kids develop the skills to move their bodies through the water and to be safe around bodies of water, they have an added layer of protection in their daily life. 

In America, water is everywhere, with 3 great coastlines, abundant swimming pools and countless (and often unregulated) landscaping water ponds – including stormwater retention ponds mandated by municipalities. For children at play, these are natural magnets, so arm your kiddo with the right skills in case they ever have an accident near water or get pulled into a dangerous situation. 

There are many benefits to enrolling your child in water safety and swimming classes as early as possible. Even with swim lessons, anyone near water will always have a risk of drowning. But the skills children learn significantly lowers their danger. And swimming is an activity that the whole family can enjoy together. When you consider the advantages, it simply makes sense to foster these skills in your child. 

Photo by sydney Rae on Unsplash

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