Originally published by The Fold, Southern Highlands – 23 September 2020 – but the information is all still relevant today!
When should babies start swimming lessons? The sooner the better! That’s what many experts recommend when it comes to teaching little ones how to swim.
And Jason Nicholas, Centre Manager at Aquabliss Frensham agrees.
“We see lots of benefits from babies learning to swim. It’s fantastic for their growth and development, confidence and independence, and of course, you’re providing them with a life skill that could help save their life one day,” he says.
“And it’s an awesome way to bond with your baby too.”
So… if you’ve been thinking about whether to enrol your baby, (and pre-schoolers) in swimming classes, here’s five ways swimming lessons benefit bubbas.
1 // Water Familiarisation
The sooner a young’un gets into the water, the better says Jason.
“It’s really important that a baby, toddler or pre-schooler develops water familiarisation early,” he says.
“This allows them to learn a lot faster when they move to the point of separating from their parent in the water. If they start later around the ages of 4 -5, they do take longer to develop the initial water familiarisation.”
2 // Safety
Well, this goes without saying, obvs! But the message is still an important one to get out there thanks to some super sobering stats.
According to the Royal Life Saving Society of Australia, children under the age of five is the age group most at risk of drowning. Sadly, an average of 30 children under the age of five drown in Australia each year, with over half occurring in swimming pools.
“We teach the little ones what to do if they fall into a pool. We teach them not to panic, how to turn themselves around, regain their body position and make their way back to the side of the pool or find something to hold onto,” Jason says.
“Nothing beats supervision around water for minimising the risk of drowning, but giving babies, toddlers and pre-schoolers the skills to get themselves out of a situation like this will also help.”
3 // Development of Gross Motor Skills
Movement and activity and learning how to grasp items helps develop gross motor skills which is an important part of a baby’s development.
“A critical point in learning to swim is when babies, toddlers and pre-schoolers are developing their motor skills,” Jason says.
“This sets them up well for learning, benefits their growth and development and is creating a positive experience for them in the water.”
4 // Bonding with their Parent
In this busy world, having time to connect with your baby in a relaxed and fun environment of a swimming class is priceless.
“Without a doubt watching the bond between a parent and their child develop in the pool is one of the most rewarding things about teaching babies how to swim,” says Jason.
5 // Your Child will have an Important Skill for Life
Jason believes every person should know how to swim or at the very least, know how to save themselves if they get into a risky situation.
“Being able to learn to swim is a life skill,” Jason says.
“There are many adults who don’t know how to swim so don’t feel confident around the water themselves or when they’re supervising their own children.”
“We see children develop their skills in the water which leads to them becoming more independent and confident, which gives the parent peace of mind too.”
And if you are an adult who doesn’t feel confident in the water, check out this article – 5 Reasons Why Learning To Swim As An Adult Will Change Your Life – and give the guys at Aquabliss Frensham a call.
So, there you go, people! If you’ve been umming and aahing about whether to enrol your baby or toddler in swimming lessons, contact Aquabliss Frensham or drop in to check out the facilities – it’s a beautiful space – and help give your little one a super important life skill that could one day save their life.
Time to take the plunge, people!