Swimming is a sport that many children participate in from a very young age. While swimming seems to be an integral part of the childhood experience, it’s not just another thing kids do for the sake of keeping them busy during summer camp. Swimming offers distinct benefits that help make children healthier, happier and safer than they might be without it. From drowning prevention to increased developmental skills, the advantages of swimming for children are many.
One of the more obvious ways in which swimming is good for children is that it helps them avoid drowning. The risk of drowning is never fully gone. Health Direct Australia warns that seven children under the age of 14 drowned in the bath between mid-2011 and mid-2012. Learning how to swim and practicing until swimming is second-nature will help a child reduce the risk of drowning substantially.
Swimming is one of the more low-impact sports available to children. USA Swimming notes the sport is “relatively injury free in comparison to other youth sports.” Swimming can result in better physical health in more ways than one. Regular swimming contributes to cardiovascular health, and the water resistance helps increase strength. Children who swim learn better overall body coordination skills, too, and Health Direct Australia says visually impaired children benefit greatly from moving around in the water. The water level and pool features serve as reference points to help the children learn more about their bodies and the space their bodies occupy.
Emotional and Social Well-Being
Swimming gives children more experience working with teams -- or at least classmates -- especially if the swimming involves races and relays. As children get better at swimming and at more complicated stroke styles, their self-esteem can grow, too. Swimming allows children to learn how to set and aim for goals, both individually and as part of a group reaching for a common goal.
Life-Stage Progress and Development
Research indicates that swimming benefits very young children by speeding up their development in life. In 2012, Griffith University in Australia released a report on how swimming children measured up against non-swimming children regarding life and developmental milestones, such as climbing down from furniture without help, naming colors, imitating others and using future tense. In general, the parents of children who swam reported their children reaching these milestones at much earlier ages than the non-swimming children.
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