Swimming is a lot of fun for people of all ages, even for non-swimmers who just love putting their feet in the water and kicking around.
However, swimming is not just for fun, it provides different types of health benefits that will keep you and your loved ones healthy and happy at the same time, more especially your children.
Some parents have actually set an age for their children to start learning how to swim, while other parents don’t find it necessary to teach their kids how to swim. What most parents don’t know is that a child has the ability to swim as soon as they can open their eyes after birth, but the general assumption is that children are developmentally ready for swimming lessons at the age of 4. For parents wondering how to get their children to start swimming, you can condition them for water by ffilling up a small cup with warm water (not too warm) and pouring a small, steady stream over your child’s shoulders and head to help them get used to the water and its temperature. Playtime in the bathtub is another great way to teach them that water is fun, so it’s good to let them blow bubbles and play while in the bathtub.
According to the National Safe Kids Campaign, “drowning is the second leading cause of unintentional injury-related death to children ages 1 – 14, making it absolutely crucial that all kids know how to swim at a young age. There is water all around us, even if it’s as small as a bathtub, so making sure that your child is comfortable in and around water is essential to their safety”. It is also important to remember that children who appear to be water confident are not always competent swimmers, that’s why we at Gaborone International School encourage parents to get involved and enroll themselves together with their children in swimming lessons to at least to learn the survival basic of swimming.
Another great thing about swimming is that children of any age or ability can take part and it is more accessible for children with special needs than any other sport. The following are some of the benefits of swimming:
- It’s the only sport that can save a child’s life
- It teaches us about water safety in and around the water
- If taught earlier in life it helps with the development of physical skills such as hand eye coordination and muscle tone
- Swimming keeps your child’s heart and lungs healthy
- Improves strength and flexibility
- Improves balance and posture
- Increases stamina
- Swimming provides challenges and rewards accomplishments – which helps children to become self-confident and believe in their abilities
- Lastly, your child will have plenty of opportunities to make friends and grow in confidence.