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5 Reason you should learn to swim

Updated: Nov 2, 2022

Water sports are the perfect way to keep cool and active over the hot Australian summer! Before letting your child jump into the water though, it’s important they are prepared by knowing how to swim. Supervised swimming lessons with a certified instructor can teach your child the many far-reaching benefits of swimming and make the water a fun and stress-free place to be in.

1. Swimming lessons save lives

Water can be dangerous. All activities in the water expose a risk of drowning, but children are especially susceptible. In 2012-2013, 40 deaths of children aged 0 to 14 years caused by drowning occurred in Australia. Swimming pools were the place where most of these deaths occurred, and in 94 per cent of these incidents nationwide, there was no adult supervision. A child who learns to swim when young develops crucial lifelong water awareness and swimming ability; however, adult supervision is always required when a child is in the water.

2. Improves fitness

Swimming is a low-impact form of exercise that provides a great alternative to sedentary activities like watching TV and playing computer games. It’s also a sure-fire way to tire the kids out, as swimming provides a workout for the whole body! In particular, it improves coordination, balance and flexibility. The fun of playing around in the water allows children to exercise without even knowing it!

3. Increases confidence in the water and on land

Not only is swimming great for the body, it’s also great for your child’s mind. It can improve their mood and self-esteem. Learning to swim early on will also reduce a child’s fear of water, making pools and beaches less stressful environments. As they develop confidence in their swimming ability, they will feel more comfortable splashing around and learn to enjoy themselves in the water. Swimming can also be a great social activity and a great way for children to bond with their family and make new friends.

4. A skill for life

On top of all the other benefits of learning to swim, there’s the fact that swimming is a skill for life. Once the skill is learned, your child will always know how to swim, regardless of their fitness level. This is especially useful for taking part in other recreational water activities, such as kayaking, surfing, diving, sailing, and so forth.

5. It’s fun!

Finally, swimming is fun! It’s a fantastic and versatile activity that can be done all year round, indoors and outdoors, alone or in a team, at a beach or in a pool, as a competitive sport or as a recreational activity with friends and family. With all the splashes and colourful accessories – swimming will put a smile on your child’s face (and provide a few giggles, too!).

All school-aged children in Australia have the opportunity to learn to swim in primary school through government prescribed swimming lessons. However, enrolling your child in a swimming program at an earlier age or taking them to extra-curricular swimming lessons will reinforce the water skills learned at school and improve their general level of confidence in the water. The Royal Life Saving Society as well as AUSTSWIM websites provide further information.

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