Why your child should take swimming lessons all year round…
Your child has been taking swimming lessons all summer and now they’ve stopped because cold weather is setting in. But have you made the right decision? Whether your child is still learning to swim or training for competitive swimming, we at Elite Marines Association want to make sure your child is benefiting in the best way possible and that you’re getting the best value for your investment. You may have reservations about sustained swimming through the winter months but could it be a mistake not to take advantage of the heated facilities at your swimming club? Here are some important things to consider…
Is your child water safe?
‘Water safety’ is a priority. Your child may not yet have mastered all the skills necessary to be water safe by the end of summer. Putting lessons on hold for several months is a major risk. Here are statistics published by the NSRI and Timeslive:
- In South Africa there are 6000 drownings per year, 600 of which are fatal child drownings
- KZN has the highest percentage of drownings in the country for a 12 month period
- Drowning is the second leading cause of accidental death, after road accidents
- Drowning can occur in swimming pools as well as relatively shallow water found around many homes; such has buckets, toilets and baths.
Kids who are taking Learn to Swim lessons progress at their own pace. Your child should continue at their swimming school, irrespective of the season, until they are ‘water safe’ and can swim independently above and under the water.
“1 step forward, 2 steps back”
You could waste your investment
Long breaks between swimming lessons often result in regression of skills. Kids who continue stroke correction and winter squad training make steady, consistent progress, whereas kids who take a break over Winter often lose some of their progress. This “1 step forward, 2 steps back” experience can become frustrating. Kids lose motivation when they fall behind.
Children need continual, repetitive input over long periods of time in order to effectively master new skills, especially the complex movements that swimming requires. Stroke correction is not a once off, short term exercise.
Don’t lose out on the Physical and Cognitive benefits when you need them most
The lengthy list of ways swimming training maintains a healthy body and mind should be enough reason for your kids to head to the swimming pool all year round. Winter is when your kids need it most.
Build up resistance to the cold
Many of us avoid feeling cold in Winter by snuggling indoors but did you know that regular exposure to cold actually improves our ability to tolerate cold?
Goodbye numb fingers!
Have you ever been so cold that your fingers went numb? Well, it’s actually been proven that regular winter swimming increases the flow of oxygen rich blood, improving circulation.
“the cold water releases an explosion of endorphins which make us happy…”
No more moody teens
Did you know that some people in icy, polar regions regularly take dips in the near-freezing water? Why would they do that? The shock your body experiences from the cold water releases an explosion of endorphins which make us happy… It lowers our stress, reduces pain and makes us feel good about life.
Swimming makes you smart!
Swimming really offers amazing benefits to the mind, like increasing your IQ, brain efficiency, problem solving skills and improving your memory. Now who wouldn’t want that, especially when second term exams roll by?
Get your kids away from the screen
Winter tends to have us all bundled up inside, watching more TV and spending more time on electronic devices. It’s a continual struggle for parents to get their kids away from screens and engage in healthy activities. Swimming lessons can be the solution!
Build their confidence and social skills
A large number of millennials struggle when interacting with people face to face. Swimming clubs put kids in the ideal group environment to practice interacting with different people. Many kids experience a leap in confidence when overcoming their fear of water or taking part in competitive swimming.
“germs make you sick, not cold weather”
Still have concerns?
There may still be reasons you’re reluctant to send your child for winter swimming lessons. You’re a caring parent who wants the best for your child. But are these reasons actually based on fact or legend? Let’s address the myths:
- Myth #1: Lifeguards will save my child
Lifeguards play a vital role in preventing drownings but they cannot possibly provide the level of supervision needed to guarantee that every person within their oversight will be 100% safe from drowning. It’s not worth the risk.
- Myth #2: My child will get sick from being wet in the cold weather.
Illness is caused by infection, either bacterial, viral, fungal etc. Basically, germs make you sick, not cold weather. There is much research that proves that regular exposure to cold water actually improves your immune system by increasing and activating your white blood cells – your body’s “army”. It actually helps build your resistance to illness.
- Myth #3: Children get ear infections from swimming in cold weather and water.
Ear infections are caused by bacteria in the inner ear. Cold air and water don’t reach the part of the ear that becomes infected so don’t influence ear infections.
- Myth #4: Children get Swimmer’s ear from swimming in the cold.
Swimmer’s ear affects the ear canal, where water is able to reach. But it is no more likely to occur in Winter than in Summer. The temperature does not play a role.
Don’t let the investment you’ve made in your child’s swimming future go to waste. Make sure they’re water safe, and don’t regress in their skills. Let them experience the benefits of swimming all year round. Our swimming club has top class heated pool facilities to ensure sustained swimming all year round.
Contact us at Elite Marines Association to find out more about winter swimming for your child. Hurry while there are still spots available!