I have come across many stories lately about how easy it is to lose a child to drowning. Honestly, with a toddler in the house, these write-ups scares have kinda scared me. For me, it’s a major reason to teach a child how to swim. Their safety around water is paramount! I’m teaching our child to swim so that he is able to save his own life if he wanders off close to a pool.
Drowning is real! It. Is. SILENT! The drowning child makes no sound to alert the parent. According to Dr Miles Bartlett (Paediatrician Specialist), a baby can drown in a few centimetres of water in the time it takes to make a cup of coffee.
Here in South Africa our summer months December and January we all want to cool down in some water. It’s over these months that Netcare 911 receives the most calls related to drowning and water emergencies. About 72% of these near-downings occur around the home, most vulnerable being three-year-old toddlers.
If you have a pool, apply as many layers of safety as you can along with teaching your child how to swim. Pool cover with drainage so that it doesn’t collect water from the rain. Another way safety layer is to have a fence around the pool with a gate that has a child lock.
From as young as 6 months your child can be taught how to be water safe.
Safety is not the only reason to learn to swim. Swimming is fun and provides your child with a full body workout, but there are other health benefits too.
Swimming health benefits
- helps keep your child’s heart and lungs healthy
- improves strength
- improves flexibility
- improves balance and posture
- improves self-confidence
All the above make our mental list of things we want any sports to give our child, but besides the health benefits for your child, swimming may and can open doors to other sporting activities too for them like,
- Scuba diving
- Water Polo
You know the saying ” … it’s like riding a bicycle..” well swimming once learnt I believe follows suite. Once you know how to swim, you could be swimming for the rest of your life.
“The water doesn’t know how old you are – Dara Torres”