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When can you take your baby swimming?

Benefits of baby swimming lessons

  • The more your baby is in the water, the more comfortable they will feel in that environment and they will start to acquire useful swimming skills
  • Swimming offers complete freedom of movement for your baby. The water will sustain their body weight, so they can move easily
  • Baby swimming can be very beneficial not just now, but later on in life too. It helps develop the muscles harmoniously. Some argue that it is the best activity for babies and children as it uses all the major muscles at once.
  • Babies also have a natural diving reflex, preventing them from swallowing water. This reflex is lost over time so the older a child learns to swim, the more likely they will need to learn how not to swallow water, as an essential part of the first lesson.
  • As babies love to swim, it also promotes sensory and motor development. The water also improves their emotional intelligence and overall well-being.
  • Swimming stimulates their appetite, improves the immune function, heart function and overall health.

RELATED: Do Iodine-rich foods make your baby smarter?

How can you ensure your baby swims safely?

The biggest concern regarding baby swimming lessons is, of course, safety. Some parents fear that the baby could become ill from the pool water. This concern is well justified. Research into the dangers of pool water has shown that the chlorine in the pool could cause respiratory issues like asthma.

RELATED: How you can help prevent asthma in your baby

Here are some precautions you can take to help your baby swim safely:

  • Look for a pool that uses other methods to disinfect the water besides chlorine. If you can smell the chlorine strongly or from quite a distance then the pool is definitely not safe for baby. Some experts recommend an ozone filtered pool as being safer for babies
  • Never take your baby swimming if the water is very cold. Babies have a harder time adjusting their body temperature, so they can catch a cold easily
  • Never take baby swimming when he or she is feeling unwell. A sick baby is more susceptible to germs that might be in the pool

There are swimming centres which offer Infant Swimming Resource (ISR) classes for babies that are six months and older. ISR teaches self rescue techniques to babies, so that they can learn to flip themselves over to a floating position in the water to wait for help.

Watch how this baby learns ISR techniques.

 

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Source: Infant swimming tied to lung infection, asthma

Source: Ask Dr. Sears: Too Young For the Pool?

Source: What Your Child Will Learn In ISR Lessons

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