The Advantages of Swimming Lessons in Winter
31 May, 2015
The advantages of continuing lessons through the Winter are countless but one reason was really made apparent to me last week when my son fell into our home pool fully clothed. Drowning and near drowning does not discriminate between the seasons. Through the cooler months it is extremely important for parents and carers to remember just because your child is not prepared to end up in a body of water does not mean that they won’t.
Last week I returned home after work to my 3 year old informing me that he had gone swimming. As it is May and not swimming weather I asked him where? He then told me he went in our home pool. It turns out his Dad was getting our home pool ready for the Winter and my son had tried to get the ball out of the pool. He had lost his balance and fell in fully clothed. In a couple of seconds he had resurfaced, turned around and held onto the wall. It frightens me to think if he had not had the training and continuation of his training year round to think that the outcome for him could have been very traumatic.
Many parents often ask me about the benefits of swimming all year round and with winter approaching, that question is being posed more and more often. My reply is always the same; keeping kids enrolled in swimming lessons all year round has many advantages, and two of the biggest are not loosing your child’s learning momentum and keeping active and healthy during winter.
Winter can be a time of colds and flu, but being in and around water will not make your child sick. In fact, they are more likely to get sick by being cooped up at school with other sick children.
My experience has shown time and again, children who attend swimming lessons regularly are fitter and maintain stronger immune systems, something we all want in the colder months. It is also a great way for them to burn some of that endless energy our children seem to have due to being cooped up inside more during the colder months!
Your child is also more likely to progress if they continue to practice and build upon the skills that they have already learnt during the warmer months.
Taking extended breaks over winter can set a child back; in fact, a key factor of how children (and adults!) learn is through repetition. This goes for all activities, whether it is learning to read or playing an instrument; children who stop practising swimming over winter tend to forget a lot of the skills they have already learnt. This means it will take a lot longer for them to learn how to swim compared to children who continue their lessons throughout winter, and children may in fact go backwards again before progressing.
Staying Warm is the key! While most indoor pools in Canberra do maintain a warm and inviting environment inside their centres, it is important to remember that once you step outside, it will be cold.
To finish, I'll leave you with the four top tips I gave the parents at our swim schools for staying healthy and warm during the winter months:
1. Ensure children (and parents) are fully dressed and dry before they leave the warmth of our centre. This should include a beanie and or dry hair.
2. If your child is unwell keep them home as not to spread the germs. Exclusions for lessons are the same as schools and child care centres
3. Up the vitamin and pro biotic intake to help boost immune systems
4. Stay active and healthy by continuing sport and activities to build strong bodies and healthy immune systems.
Happy swimming everyone!
Alena Sarri (Aquatots Swim School)
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