In honor of National Water Safety Month, a national survey commissioned by Swimways Corp., a leading pool and outdoor recreational products manufacturer, revealed that more than 4 out of 5 parents understand that learning to swim by age 5 increases a child’s self-confidence.
However, 88% of parents were unaware that learning to swim before age 5 can also aid in the development of mathematical skills. In addition, the survey found that only 14% of parents understand that swimming can help develop oral expression, and less than half of those surveyed understood that swimming can boost children’s social skills.
As to when children should be introduced to swimming, parents overwhelmingly agree (82%) that children should learn to swim by at least age 5. However, mothers and fathers don’t see eye-to-eye about when their little ones should experience their first swimming lesson. Mothers are far more comfortable with children learning to swim before they turn 1 – 28% vs. 14% of fathers.
To celebrate Swimways National Learn to Swim Day™, Beisel recommends these learn-to-swim tips for parents:
- Once your child has learned to swim, create consistent practice time to enhance his/her skills and increase their confidence.
- Family play time in the water can also reinforce confidence. Consider water toys, pool floats, pool games and swim training gear that make learning-to-swim fun!
- Every family has different needs when it comes to swim instruction. For learn to swim resources, visit www.teachmetoswim.com, and to find swim lesson providers in your area, visit https://www.usaswimmingfoundation.org/find-swim-lessons.
- Swimming uses a ton of energy. Remember to take breaks and keep kids hydrated to maintain their level of confidence in the water.
- Motivation is key! Keep focused on the ‘fun’ aspects of swimming with family and friends.
For the past two years on National Learn to Swim Day™, Swimways has partnered with the USA Swimming Foundation, a non-profit organization whose mission is to save lives and build champions – in the pool and life –raising awareness about water safety and the importance of teaching children to swim. Two-time Olympic medalist and USASwimming Foundation Ambassador Elizabeth Beisel will serve as the spokesperson on Swimways National Learn to Swim Day™ to be held on May 19, 2018.