Swimming For Your Child – Pros, Cons And Precautions

5 min read

Written by Pradeep

Pradeep

SWIMMING FOR YOUR CHILD – PROS, CONS AND PRECAUTIONS

Mercury is soaring, and we are all looking for some respite from the heat. If you live in an apartment in a city, chances are you have a swimming pool a stone’s throw distance. You already know the many benefits of swimming for your child (especially in the hot summers). But you are worried about the risks, accidents, chlorine levels, and whatnot.

This article will equip you with everything you need to know about swimming – what is good, what is bad, what precautions you can take to avoid the worst, and what factors you need to know to zero in on a good swimming coaching class.

In This Article

How Can Swimming Benefit My Child?

how swimming benefits child

Wow! Where do we start! Swimming is definitely a fun thing for your child to do. It is also a great escape in this hot weather. But the benefits of swimming are much more than that:

1. Physical Fitness

This is the most obvious one. Swimming uses the entire body – and is a fantastic aerobic workout for your child. It needs some skill – so it improves posture and balance. It also uses all the limbs – so it improves flexibility. And the best bit? It is not a monotonous exercise. It is a lot of fun to do. And it can be done with friends.

2. Better Health

Swimming is great for cardiovascular health – this means it is great for a healthy heart and lungs. It keeps obesity in check, thereby promoting better metabolism, a lower risk of juvenile diabetes, and overall better health.

[Read: Caring for your Child With Juvaline Diabetes]

3. May improve cognitive functioning

A baby’s brain grows when it uses both sides of the body to accomplish an action, called bilateral cross-patterning. Neurons are built throughout the brain, especially in the corpus callosum, through cross-patterning movements. This facilitates communication, feedback, and modulation from one side of the brain to another. In the long run, this could improve:

  • Reading ability
  • Development of language
  • Proficiency
  • Spatial understanding

4. Safety

It is absolutely necessary for any individual (child or adult) to know how to stay safe if fallen into a water body. Whether your child likes swimming or not, it is a vital skill to master to ensure that they are prepared when faced with unexpected emergencies.

5. Coordination

A good swimmer would make swimming look graceful and effortless. In reality, however, the whole process requires a lot of coordination and synchronization between your arm movement, leg movement, overall body movement, and breathing. The coordination skills your child masters while swimming will help improve their overall motor skills.

6. Confidence

Mastering swimming gives your child a lot of confidence, knowing that they can jump into the pool and swim with friends! Moreover, research shows that buoyancy in water can promote calmness and better emotional health.

[Read: Child Drowning, Secondary Drowning, and Dry Drowning]

7. Improves Sleeping Patterns and Appetite

Children need a lot of energy to spend time in the pool. It’s a completely new environment for them and they’re using their bodies in completely new ways. They’re also working extra hard to stay warm. Your child may be more tired after a swim lesson due to all of that extra activity.

Furthermore, the physical exertion they undergo in the water, plus the energy it takes to keep them warm, burns a lot of calories. It is likely that after regular swimming your child will have an increased appetite. So swimming can turn a fussy eater into one who is ready to eat anything given.

Are There Any Cons of Swimming For My Child?

The pros definitely outweigh the cons when it comes to swimming.

  • Sometimes, your child might be too little for the pool. While there are coaching classes for kids as young as 6 months, experts believe that a child cannot be an expert swimmer they are at least six or seven years old. So the ideal time to start swimming classes for your child would be at the age of four or five.
  • Another problem is, barring summer, the cold pool water can cause some diseases like cold and cough. Temperature-controlled pools solve this problem – but they are not very widespread.
  • The chemicals in pool water and the ones used to clean pools (main chlorine) can result in the formation of toxic gas that swimmers breathe in just over the surface of pool water. This is known to lead to asthma.
  • Finally, when we put multiple children into a single pool that is often cleaned only once a week, it can lead to the spread of contagious diseases.
[Read: Water Safety: Prevent Your Child From Drowning]

What Precautions Should I Take When My Child Goes Swimming?

What Precautions Should I Take When My Child Goes to Swim_

Here are some precautions you and your child need to bear in mind while going for a swim.

  • However confident you are, do not let your child go for a swim alone. There has to be someone (adults or friends) to watch over.
  • Follow the pool rules. No exceptions.
  • Ensure your child wears proper swimming gear. Swimwear is absolutely necessary. Be wary of fancy swimming floats. Many of them are not as safe as they look and can lead to avoidable accidents.
  • Teach them about how swimming in a pool is different from the same in an ocean or a river. For instance, the river bed will not be flat as a pool. Also, there might be rocks underneath, making diving a not-so-good idea.
  • Learn CPR. Whether your child knows swimming or not, there can still be accidents, and you need to know CPR in case of an emergency.
[Read:  CPR in Babies: Steps And Precautions]

How Should I Choose a Swimming Class For My Child?

While we all agree that swimming is great for your child, it is not a skill that can be mastered in a few classes. A lot of lessons and practice are required to make your child a competent swimmer. Here are some tips to choose the right swimming class for you.

  • Make sure the classes are categorized based on skills that need to be taught. If there is a single class with multiple age groups and at different levels of training, then it might not be a good idea.
  • If your child is very young or is scared of water,  pick a class that allows parents to be in the pool at the same time.
  • It is a good idea to pick a class with a temperature-controlled pool if you have access to the pool with such facilities
  • Inquire about the cleaning frequency and chemicals used.
  • Ask about the experience and credentials of the instructor. Ask specifically if he/she has experience teaching small kids.
  • Ensure the class size is not too much so that your child can hope to get individual attention. Make sure your child spends more time swimming than waiting for his turn.
  • Take 1-2 trial classes and watch how the coach is able to maintain the class decorum and manage the kids.

Good luck!

Read Also: Swim Shoes For Kids

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