Bringing your baby to a swimming pool before he can walk may sound excessive. However, did you know that introducing children to water early can provide many benefits? Research shows that by giving your child plenty of time in swimming pools, you can help increase their confidence and intelligence. The child's nervous system will be aroused when they kick, skate, and do other activities in the water.
Swimming improves children's intelligence function
Moving both sides of your body with patterned movements will greatly help your child's brain development. This movement activates the nerves in the brain, especially in the part called the corpus callosum, an area in the brain that regulates communication, feedback on stimuli, and stimulating delivery from one side of the brain to the other. In the end, this will improve reading skills, language development, academic learning, and children's spatial awareness.
Research conducted over 4 years involving more than 7000 children found that children who swim have more mature physical and mental development than children who do not swim. More specifically, children aged 3-5 years who have swimming habits have verbal ability 11 months above their age children, math skills 6 months above their age children, and language skills 2 months above their age children. They also have the ability to remember stories 17 months above their peers and the ability to understand the direction 20 months above peers.
Learning to swim can reduce the risk of drowning
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), drowning is the biggest cause of death in children and toddlers. Therefore, the practice of swimming early is very important. One of the safety exercises that can be trained even in infants is to float with the lower back — a very useful survival technique.
A study in 2009 showed a reduction in the risk of drowning as much as 88% in children aged 1-4 years who were given swimming training. Similar research conducted in China shows that swimming exercises reduce the risk of drowning by 40%. Although these numbers vary, it can be seen that swimming can introduce the basic ability to save oneself in water in children.
Swimming increases children's confidence
Learning to swim in groups also provides its own benefits. When learning, children will interact with others, parents, and teachers. This can foster confidence in children.
In a study in Germany, children who were given swimming lessons at ages 2 months to 4 years could more easily adapt to new environments, have higher self-esteem, and be more independent than those who did not swim. In addition, giving lessons to swim from an early age in children can improve the ability to control themselves and increase children's motivation to themselves.
How to safely monitor children learning to swim
Don't leave your own child anywhere, whether it's in the pool or in the bathtub. Remember, a small amount of water can cause the child to sink. If your child is still under one year, never let your child be out of your hands. Immediately approach your child if your child shows these signs in the water:
- The head is lower than water, and the mouth is limited to water
- The head looks back and the mouth opens
- The eyes are empty or closed
- Children breathe fast or breathe in short
Experts also advise not to bring babies under the age of 6 months into swimming pools reporting, because their skin is still sensitive. As long as you keep paying attention to your child, swimming is a relatively safe activity. In addition to providing benefits for children, swimming is also useful to strengthen your relationship with children. It would be great if you could spend time with your child in the midst of your busy life.
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