The Importance of Swimming Lessons
Whenever I talk to parents, I was told that swimming lessons is one of the most important skills they are willing to invest in. It is widely accepted that learning to swim can save lives. However, every year there will be one or two drowning incidents happening in Singapore. From 2011 to 2015, there have been an average of twenty drowning or near-drowning cases in Singapore. The latest drowning incident in May 2017 happened to a 13 year old boy off East Coast Park. Drowning still remains as one of the top causes of deaths in young children in Singapore.
Parents often make excuses for postponing swimming lessons for a variety of reasons – their children are too young, pools are too far away, classes are too expensive, or there is no time. Here is a list of reasons why swimming lessons are important, and we hope that it will motivate you and your children to learn to swim!
The number one reason to sign up for swimming lessons is that it will save your child’s life. Knowing how to swim safely to the side of the pool and climb out are the most basic skills, and they are taught to children as young as 6 months old. Children can drown in bathtubs and kiddie pools just as easily as a pool or the sea. You could become distracted and lose track of your child while being beside them at the pool. Give your child the tools of survival when it comes to water by equipping them with swimming lessons.
It should be noted that “swimming” with floaties, puddle jumpers, life jackets or other items like boards or pool noodles is not swimming. Swimming is defined to be able to propel yourself through water with your arms and legs. Do not assume that your child is any more safe using props for swimming than he is without. There is no substitute for learning proper swimming techniques.
2. Respect For The Water
Swimming lessons exposes your child to the power of water, and how easily it can become dangerous. An accidental slip off the pool steps and a quick trip underwater will show them how scary it can be, and that they should respect the water. It’s fun to play in, but they also need to have adequate swimming skills when it comes to being near a pool.
3. Social Skills
Swimming lessons are a great way for children to get to know other children. Most swimming classes group children of similar skill level together, and it is heartening to see how encouraging children can be of each other. Swimming lessons also teach kids how to behave with others in the water, and not engage in activities that could cause harm or accidental drowning.
4. Creates A Strong Bond and Builds Trust
Starting young allows your child to grow to trust you in the water. Swimming lessons may be a struggle at first, which may be accompanied with crying and the initial fear for the unknown. With consistent practice and visiting to the pool, a strong bond is forged. In return, children will listen to your instructions and heed warnings more readily.
5. Higher Confidence & Better Self-Esteem
A child who knows how to swim is known to have more confidence and better self-esteem. The younger the child is when exposed to lessons, the more comfort and confidence they have in water.
6. Become Better Listeners
One of the most important non-swimming skills a child can learn is to listen to their swim teacher. Your child will come to trust the teacher as they guide and protect them in the water. Firm teachers sometimes get a bad rap, but they are the ones who care the most and are teaching your children to respect the water like they do.
7. Develop Better Coordination, Flexibility and Strength
Swimming requires a lot of coordination. A child learning to kick both their legs and move their ways in a coordinated fashion is a result of hard work and dedication. Children develop strength and flexibility in the water through learning the various types of strokes.
8. Excellent Source Of Exercise
Children use muscles they don’t normally use in these lessons, especially babies who cannot crawl or walk yet. Knowing how to swim also allows one to enjoy many water activities that require adequate water safety, like paddle boarding, surfing and kayaking.