Kids and swimming, when to start and what are the benefits

When is it time to take your baby to the pool and teach him to swim? A much-discussed topic, and which raises great concern among parents who are wondering what it is the most suitable age for children to start swimming. But to date, there is still no single answer.

According to experts, the best time to try the water method is between 5 and 10 years of age for the baby, but many doctors and pediatricians claim that a newborn may begin to know water after a few weeks of life. water with their parents.

In fact, many argue that the earlier the approach to water is started, the better it is for the child, also because the fear after the age of 10 consolidates and therefore can become harder and harder. According to some statistics, it also appears that about 30% of children between the ages of 7 and 18 do not know how to swimmany of these just become liquid.

Of course, being somewhere other than the quiet pool at home is not the same thing, but knowing how to stay afloat and swim can help you deal with any danger or emergency.

Pediatricians suggest bringing children closer to the water during the summer, to give them a new and safe place to have fun with family and friends. Therefore, many local authorities promote courses in water sports and the prevention of drowning accidents to provide the child with effective methods to become familiar with the water.

Swimming has a reputation for being a complete physical activity as it allows you to strengthen muscles, activate coordination, stimulate circulation and help relieve stress; but it is necessary to take into account all aspects of the child’s health and psychophysical development before starting this activity.

At what age do children start swimming?

Until a few years agoAmerican Academy of Pediatrics He discouraged swimming lessons before the age of four, arguing that there was no tangible evidence of the real effectiveness of the swimming skills lessons or reducing the risk of drowning.

However, based on some studies conducted in the United States and China, which showed how swimming lessons could significantly reduce infant mortality by drowning, the organization changed its guidelines in 2010, arguing that no swimming lessons could guarantee the child’s absolute safety.

To date, most experts recommend introducing children to swimming around the age of 4, teaching them to float and move naturally, always under the close supervision of an adult.

However, many courses start at the age of 6 months of the newborn, as it is claimed that these have natural reflexes that allow them to hold their breath underwater and move arms and legs in a kind of primitive motion. However, not all experts agree that these courses held at that age are a good idea.

There are water courses that generally start from three months and end at the age of 3, where children and parents are involved in small games that help them become familiar with the water. Only then can you start real courses to learn to swim.

While for young children they can also benefit greatly from water safety-oriented courses, be sure to entrust them to a competent teacher who can encourage them and who does not force them to do something they do not feel ready for. .

In any case, the decision to enroll a child in a swimming course should be made with the pediatrician, taking into account the degree of both physical and mental development of the child.

What are the benefits of swimming for children?

Every sport has its benefits, and so does water sports, which help both physically and mentally.

THAT advantage activity in water can be summarized as follows:

  • develops and balances muscle strength as the workload is evenly distributed throughout the body, ensuring symmetrical and harmonious growth;
  • leads to a healthy development of the heart and lungs, which improves and strengthens the cardiovascular capacity;
  • lowers cholesterol levels;
  • promotes weight control and prevents childhood obesity;
  • improves concentration and learning ability;
  • increases self-esteem and self-confidence;
  • improves communication with others;
  • promotes socialization;

All very important factors during growth, especially in pre-teen age; in addition, swimming is a valuable aid for children with posture problems, such as scoliosis.

The benefits are so obvious that in addition to being considered a complete sporting activity, it is often used as rehabilitation activities after an injury.

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Conclusions

Many parents ask themselves the question of what is the most suitable age to start their children with swimming, both in terms of the first approach to very young children and in terms of swimming as a sports activity.

But there is no single answer to this question, there are actually experts who claim that it is better to wait until the age of 4, while others say that it is possible to start with aquatic courses as early as 3 months of life. newborn.

But these are consistent with the fact that it is very important for a child to know how to swim and that this activity brings many benefits to both body and mind.

In any case, children appear to be able to approach water from the age of 3 months, provided that the structure is safe and that the parents are led by qualified staff. It is also important to remember that each child’s physical and mental development is different, so it is advisable to consult and consult with your trusted pediatrician.

Valeria Glaray

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