Drowning is the leading cause of unintentional death in children under 4 years and it can happen 365 days per year. Swimming year-round is the best way to protect your child from the very real danger of the water. Year-round swimmers retain a healthy respect for the water and build skills way beyond those of seasonal swimmers. Drowning is not only a summer danger. Canals, open water, bathtubs and even covered swimming pools can be hazards; but year-round swimming is so much more than preventative medicine. At OSA, we strongly recommend not stopping or taking a break from swim lessons until your child has passed a survival swim test (Level 4).
LONG TERM BENEFITS:
Scientific studies of infant swimming have shown that the early stimulation develops children in three key areas- physically, mentally, and emotionally. Children who swam consistently from infancy were significantly stronger and more coordinated. The muscles developed in a process similar to physical therapy enabled the children to excel at all physical activities and was not limited to swimming. The children also scored higher for intelligence and problem solving, which carried over into excellence and alertness in school. And, emotionally, children who swim year-round were found to be more self-disciplined and to have motivation and confidence to succeed. From consistent goal setting, learning, and achievement, they rated high in self-respect.
WON’T THE KIDS BE TOO TIRED FOR LESSONS AFTER A DAY IN SCHOOL?
School involves sitting still and mental activity. Young bodies need a fun outlet to vent their energy. Being cooped up in school all winter can lead to lethargy. Swimming invigorates like no other exercise. It works all muscles in the body evenly on both sides and is both aerobic and strength building. Children who are accustomed to healthy exercise grow into adults who are healthy.
WHAT ABOUT SICKNESS IN COLD WEATHER?
Children who swim year-round are less likely to become ill than those with a less active lifestyle. Hairdryers, warm clothing, and caps can prevent colds. Swimming never causes inner ear infections, and swimmer’s ear (outer ear infections) can be easily prevented by thoroughly drying the ears. When necessary, using over-the-counter drying ear drops after lessons can eliminate ear problems.
WHAT ABOUT OTHER SPORTS?
In addition to all the unique benefits already mentioned, swimming is just about the only sport we can enjoy well into our senior years. A lifelong pleasure, swimming is also important for many related water activities such as diving, fishing, and boating. And once again, remembering the safety of your children, swimming is the ONLY sport likely to save their lives someday. So swim all year-round from infant on up and reap the benefits!