It’s obvious why swim lessons for kids are a great idea for safety reasons and drowning prevention, but now new research proves that swim lessons can offer even more benefits, some you might not at all expect.
Early water lessons for kids have been proven to help them learn and perform better in school. According to Australia’s Griffith University for Educational Research, which found that preschoolers who participate in swim lessons attain more developmental milestones than children who don’t.
The four-year study (2009-2013) followed the progress of children 3-5 years old for two years, testing and interviewing the children to report cognitive development and performance in preschool and school between swimmers and non-swimmers. In this international swimming research project, the final report collected data from 45 swim schools in Australia, New Zealand and the United States. What they found was astounding.
The findings concluded that “Swimming children score significantly better than the normal population on a number of measures that are really important for their transition to school: their cognitive development, their language development, and their physical development,” Robyn Jorgensen, the study’s lead researcher said in this video announcing the results.
Researchers found that children “scored significantly better in visual-motor skills such as cutting paper, coloring in and drawing lines and shapes, and many mathematically related tasks.
Their oral expression was also better as well as in the general areas of literacy and numeracy,” according to the university. Those that “had been attending swimming for longer periods of time scored better according to their time in swimming.” Overall, parents reported the early swimming participants were “over 7 months ahead in motor achievement and around 10 months ahead cognitively and linguistically (Jorgensen 2013). “The
In addition to academics, the benefits of swimming lessons don’t just stop there. Many parents observe the effectiveness of swim programs on their kids emotionally, such as contributing to increased confidence and participation in student group activities to a healthy respect and appreciation for the water. Swim lessons prove to help develop essential social skills in a fun and non-traditional way.
This can be seen often times with special needs children who respond to water therapy and swimming lessons in a more profound way than other kids their age. By providing a safe, zero gravity environments to learn and explore motor skills, swimming offers a unique opportunity to develop verbal communication and feeling more comfortable in social situations.
Finally, no one can deny that safety reasons for beginning swim lessons as early as possible. Participation in swim lessons provided an 88% in reduction in risk of drowning for children ages 1-4, according to a study conducted by Dr. Ruth Brenner at the National Institute of Health.
So if you’re deciding whether or not to begin swim lessons for your child, whether it’s infant survival skills or casual outdoor water play for toddlers, know that the earlier your child gets in the water, the earlier he or she will reap the quality benefits of swim lessons.
Kathleen McMordie is an Infant Aquatic Survival Lead and water safety specialist located in Katy, Texas. She is also the owner of Texas Swim Academy, an infant, child, and adult swim lesson facility. Texas Swim Academy strives to introduce children into the water at an early age through Infant Aquatics, and fully develop stroke abilities through adulthood with stroke development programs. Children are taught life saving swim safety lessons and have to option to join a competitive sports team. To learn more about Texas Swim Academy swim lessons, Infant Aquatics, and other programs, please visit www.texasswimacademy.com.