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The Benefits of Early Childhood Swimming for Mental and Physical Development

Children sitting on edge of pool holding hands in the air during swim lesson

Swimming and child development are strongly linked. When children learn to swim, they are doing themselves more favours than simply learning how to navigate through the water.

Early childhood swimming skills can help a child develop the mental, emotional, and physical skills necessary to develop and grow into a healthy and successful adult.

In fact, children who learned to swim at an early age performed higher in a study in a variety of areas, from parental separation to forming sentences.

Swimming and Social Behaviours

One study indicated that children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) can experience enhanced competence and help them understand movement (Pan, 2010). This, in turn, helps to improve social behaviours and fosters their interactions with other children. Additionally, children with ASD who were given swimming lessons also experienced improved motor function (Pan, 2010).

Swimming lessons improve social skills due to the nature of learning in a group. When children take swimming lessons in a class, they learn to rely on others for support in a social setting, and they are able to practice their social skills by making new friends and connections through a shared experience.

At British Swim School, we believe that children should learn how to swim as soon as possible. This is why we offer swimming lessons for children as young as 3 months old. The earlier they jump in the pool, the better their transition will be as they grow up.

The Physical Benefits of Swimming

Swimming allows the full body to exercise without placing excess stress on specific areas at once. Therefore, certain muscles are able to improve at a time, without risking injury or soreness.

One of the most important physical benefits of swimming, however, is the fact that it teaches children the ability to use oxygen more efficiently and develop strong breathing techniques (Harvard, 2009). Those techniques are essential to developing heart and lung health.

This is one of the main reasons why our swimming lessons are extremely beneficial for Mississauga children. It is one of the best and most reliable ways that children can gain physical exercise while we teach them the proper techniques to help build their muscles.

Mental, Emotional, and Cognitive Improvement

Children who develop aquatic skills at early ages generally also benefit mentally, emotionally, and cognitively. Aquatic exercise allows children to boost blood flow to the brain, which can improve memory, focus, and clarity (Borreli, 2016). The earlier this begins, the better it will improve as the child grows.

Firstly, swimming can relieve stress due to its focus on breathing patterns (Harvard, 2009). Since the swimmer learns how to balance their oxygen levels and focus on holding their breath, they are able to stop thinking about other issues and experience less stress.

Swimming Lessons do More Than Teach Children to Swim

It is hard to argue that early childhood swimming has remarkable benefits beyond simply teaching children how to swim. So, why not put them in swimming lessons now?

Children can begin swimming lessons at any age, and the earlier they learn these essential skills, the healthier and stronger they will become.


Borreli, L. (2016). 4 brain benefits of swimming: Improved blood flow boosts cognitive function, alleviates depression symptoms. Medical Daily. Retrieved from http://www.medicaldaily.com/4-brain-benefits-swimming-improved-blood-flow-boosts-cognitive-function-402385.

Harvard Heart Letter. (2009). Take the plunge for your heart. Harvard Health Publications. Retrieved from https://www.health.harvard.edu/newsletter_article/take-the-plunge-for-your-heart.

Pan, C. (2010). Effects of water exercise swimming program on aquatic skills and social behaviors in children with autism spectrum disorders. Autism, 14(9), pp. 9-28.

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