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The Importance of Learning to Swim in The Early Years

Learning to swim in the early years is one of the most important skills parents can teach their kids, it’s one of the skills that could easily save their lives. Infant and toddler swimming affords numerous benefits that contribute to the positive development of the child, both physically and emotionally. Lucky for us in Bangkok there are some great swim schools that offer interactive parent-child group classes, with a focus on the use of songs, games and water toys, to encourage babies and young children to learn the basics of water safety and become competent, confident swimmers. 

Sadly drowning is still one of the most common causes of accidental death in children, so being able to swim is an essential life-saving skill. It’s important to remember that not all children who appear safe in the water are capable swimmers.

Reasons Why Your Child Should Learn To Swim

People of all ages love swimming, whether it’s in a pool, by the beach or just splashing around in the garden, kids just love water play! Almost all holidays will involve some sort of water activity and definitely my kids would be in the pool all day, every day and literally had to be dragged out just before sunset. Not only is it a great way to improve their skills by just letting them have fun, it’s a great way for them to exercise and and become confident in their own abilities. Watch any child alone in a pool and within minutes they will have found a friend to have fun with.

Swimming also provides loads of health benefits which can help to keep your children healthy and allow them to have fun at the same time. Swimming uses every muscle in your body and research shows it’s one of the greatest forms of exercise to encompass all the muscle groups. It not only improves strength and flexibility, it increases stamina and can improve a child’s posture.

One of the best things about swimming is that children of any age or ability can take part and it is more of an accessible form of exercise for children with special or additional needs than almost any other sport.

boys jumping in a paddling pool

Water Sports

You will find as your child progresses through the school years that they can only take part in particular sports, either at school or away on camps if they can swim. Nearly all schools in Bangkok include swimming as part of their physical education curriculum for the most obvious reason but also to springboard them into a range of other water based activities. In Bangkok there are some great water parks for fun and more serious sport and whilst all of them will have trained life guards on duty, nothing beats knowing your child is safe in the water as they can swim alone. Thankfully, like learning to ride a bike, learning to swim is a skill rarely forgotten!

A few sports your child can only do if they can swim

  1. Kayaking
  2. Canoeing
  3. Wakeboarding
  4. Scuba diving
  5. Snorkelling
  6. Surfing
  7. Triathlon
  8. Yachting
  9. Sailing
  10. Jet skiing
Boy at sea with life jacket and paddling board

How swimming can be a tool for social skills

Learning to swim can also increase a child’s social skills. Joining a swim club, class or team can introduce kids to a new group of friends and teach them the vital skills of collaboration. Being part of team can improve kids’ confidence as their peers will motivate them to strive for their personal best, push them to beat records or to perfect a swimming stroke. Swimming with friends and family can also benefit kids’ mental health as studies have shown that children who start swimming early develop social skills at a faster rate. 

Whatever age your children are when they start to learn to swim, try to make it a fun experience that they can enjoy and develop a vital life skill. Encourage them to continue their swimming at school and during family holidays Remember, you can’t always be there. Learning to swim may save your child’s life one day

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