Monday, May 21, 2018

Enriching Education: Swimming Lessons

In conjunction of Swimways National Learn to Swim Day™ last May 19, 2018, today Swimways announced the results of their national survey of parents

A few quick highlights of the 2018 Swimways survey:

·        Moms and dads 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.
·        Over 80% of parents were unaware that learning to swim before age 5 can also aid in the development of mathematical skills.
·        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.

I had a chance to interview Monica  Jones, Vice-President of Marketing, Swimways, to learn more.

  1. What might contribute to the divide between mothers and fathers and how they feel about swimming lessons for their youngest kids?
    1. MJ:  Swimways believes that children should go at their own pace and enter the water in any very comfortable way – in the arms of their parents. When they become comfortable in the water with the help of secure flotation, such as a Baby Spring Float Sun Canopy, they may be ready for swim lessons. The American Red Cross suggests that this may happen around age 4.

  1. How can swimming lessons contribute to development in other ways?
    1. MJ: Most swim lessons are organized in a very specific graduated way, so the child can first get comfortable in the water, learn to put their faces in the water, and eventually learn the strokes. This is done very strategically so as not to cause trauma for the child. When they are feeling very safe and secure, they are more open to learning what is being taught.

  1. How can parents find high-quality lessons for kids of all ages?
    1. MJ: Parents typically get advice from other parents, so they should ask their friends with older kids where they learned to swim and if it was an enjoyable experience. They can also google swim lessons to find local offerings, but they should be sure to look at consumer reviews.

  1. What are ways that parents can encourage kids to be comfortable in the water without being overconfident? 
    1. MJ: Babies or young children should enter the water for the first time in the arms of their parents. This should be a positive bonding experience and create a sense of security for the child. When they are ready, they can use a quality baby float with sun protection, such as the Baby Spring Float Sun Canopy. This popular baby float includes many features that help the baby feel stable and the parents feel secure in using it. Some of these features include a soft mesh seat and low center of gravity, two inflation chambers, child safety valves, sun canopy with UPF 50+ and a mesh play space for fun. Eventually, around age 2, they will want to be more mobile in the water and will graduate to a flotation device with permanent flotation but allows them to paddle and kick around the pool. One such device is the Sea Squirts PFD Swim Trainer, which is a US Coast Guard approved life jacket that provides permanent chest and arm flotation but is comfortable to wear.  For more information on National Learn To Swim Day or for learn to swim resources, please go to

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