All parents should enroll their children in swim lessons or if they can, teach them how to swim. Why? We don’t like to think about it, but in Canada, drowning is the number one cause of unintentional injury deaths among children 1-4 years of age, and the second leading cause for children under 10 years. And for all Canadians under 60 years of age, drowning is third, surpassed only by motor vehicle accidents and poisoning (The Lifesaving Society).
While knowing how to swim does not make drowning impossible, it makes it less likely from happening. During swimming lessons, kids are even taught what to do if they accidentally fall into the water. More advanced courses teach how to save someone who is drowning, or what to do if someone is in trouble in the water.
Why else should children learn to swim?
- Swimming also teaches discipline. There are rules you have to follow in a pool or a lake.
- Swimming lessons teach good social skills. You learn to depend on each other, and that time in the water can be a lot of fun.
- One of the most important skills swimming teaches is confidence. Kids that can swim feel great about themselves. Imagine, suddenly being able to swim across a pool or dive confidently off a diving board!
- Swimming is terrific physical exercise. It works practically every muscle in the body when you learn different strokes, and builds heart and lung health.
Always remember, that even if your kids know how to swim, you should never leave them unattended. You should always be watching them, if not in the pool with them, especially if there isn’t a lifeguard.