How Children Benefit From Swimming

3 kids with swim caps

British Swim School of Greater Boston

February 23, 2017

You’ve heard all about the wondrous benefits from swimming. There’s the amazing health benefits, like full-body workouts, no stress on joints, improved cardiovascular function and increased strength and muscle. There are also psychological benefits, like immediate mood improvement, pain relief, stress relief along with the social aspect of positively interacting with a small group of like-minded swimmers. All of these benefits can work in concert to boost your overall health.

But what are the swimming benefits for children and babies? Are they the same? Well yes and no.

#1 Safety. Safety. Safety.

The number 1 health benefit of swimming, and learning to swim, for children is the safety it can lend them. The CDC still lists drowning as a leading cause (the #2 leading cause) of injury and death for children. At British Swim School of Greater Boston we teach children and especially new swimmers, infants and toddlers, how to survive an accidental fall in. We do this by teaching babies and children how to float on their backs and call for help.

In addition to teaching survival and floating skills to our young students, we teach the Safer3 concepts to children and the adults who take care of them. Safer3 concepts involve learning about the risks of being near and in the water with children, accepting responsibility and reducing risk. The Safer3 Water Safety Foundation’s mission is to “protect every life from drowning through education and heightened water safety awareness.”

Learning to swim can be your and your child’s strongest deterrent in avoiding drowning.

#2 So Many Health Benefits!

Swimming is wonderful exercise because whether you are learning to float, paddle or working on the technical aspects of the butterfly stroke, it is always a great all-body work-out. It can increase overall strength and muscle mass. It also assists in helping developing bodies understand and increase balance. Children who go on to become great athletes in all types of games have often started out with swim lessons and regular year-round swimming. Swimmers often swim for longer periods than other athletes and they do not have to worry about joint injuries, since the buoyancy of the water eliminates any stress on the joints.

According the National Institute of Health, regular exercise of any form also improves our focus and ability to retain memories!

#3 Psychological Benefits, too?

Swimming feels nice to the body and mind, instantly lifting our mood. The buoyancy of the water reduces stress by transmitting a feeling of lightness that we don’t have out of the water. Studies show that swimmers often report instant mood improvement (Centers for Disease Control and the National Institute for Health) and over time they can also the benefit from new relationships that are formed by being a member of a pool, swim class or swim team. Research from Australia found that children who start swim lessons at an early age develop physical milestones, language skills, and confidence sooner than those who do not. It also increases blood flow to the brain!

We hope you will be convinced that starting year-round swim lessons, or continuing your swim lessons is an important part of your and your children’s health! As Dory the fish says, “Just keep swimming!”

See our article on Swimming in Winter HERE

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