Philadelphia-area families may not be thinking too much about beach and pool season during chilly and snowy February days, but the fact is that this is the time of year to dig out those swimsuits and get your kiddos in the pool! According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), there were over 170 child drowning deaths in the United States during the summer of 2014. Drowning is the number one cause of accidental death for kids under age five. And sadly, every summer several children drown or suffer long-term injuries from a water-related accident. These statistics are so sobering, but there are steps you can take to make sure that your child is safe in and around water.
This may surprise you but winter is actually the best time to think about swim and water safety. The American Red Cross says that the number one thing parents can do to prevent accidental drowning in enroll kids in weekly swim lessons to ensure that they have the basic safety skills they need to be safe in the water. Use this time to work on building up critical swim skills so that your child is ready to SAFELY hit the beach and pool when summer returns!
So why swim this winter?
- Swim lessons reduce the risk of drowning. You read the stats above, right? Swimming is an essential life skill and you want to be confident that your child has mastered it. Kids are around water all of the time. Arm your child with the skills they need to be water-safe — now and in the future. “Getting swim-ready for spring break and summer vacation starts in the winter months. Indoor swimming is actually a great cold-weather activity! Year-round lessons are the best way for kids to learn how to swim because they are able to retain what they learn with consistent practice. Plus each child learns new skills differently and at their own pace so starting in the winter is the best way to ensure progress by summer, ” says Meg Kevane, owner of Goldfish Swim School Fort Washington.
- Swimming helps kids do better in school. You heard right: time in the pool translates to higher grades at school. Swimming has been scientifically linked to an increased performance in visual motor skills and oral expression in kids. Studies have found that children who swam during their developmental years achieved several physical and mental milestones faster than their non-swimming counterparts. Researchers found that the type of instruction and sensory learning kids are exposed to early on in swimming lessons translates almost seamlessly into the type of learning they’ll do in the classroom.
- Strength in numbers + consistency! Often times, younger swimmers are nervous about getting into the water without mom or dad for the first time. Swim safety experts find that little kids do better when they are with other kids their same age. Goldfish offers small group swim lessons (4:1 max student to teacher ratio) for the Mini through Pro levels. This ratio ensures that little swimmers get the individual attention they need while also benefitting from the presence of peers. For example, if swimmers see their peers participating in a skill taught by one of the instructors, they are often more likely to join in. Being around other children fosters team building and social skills. Ongoing, consistent, week-to-week instruction helps kids to really progress and build on their swimming skills.
As a bonus, indoor swimming during the winter months is a great way for kids to expend a ton of energy while having fun! Perfect way to pass the time on a chilly winter day!
Meg Kevane is a mother of three and the owner of Goldfish Swim School Fort Washington opening in May 2015. Conveniently located at 185 Commerce Drive in Fort Washington, Goldfish Swim School provides swim instruction to children ages 4 months to 12 years-old in a unique setting with highly trained instructors, small class sizes (max 4:1 student to teacher ratio), warm 90-degree pools, and a state-of-the-art water purification system. In addition to swim lessons, Goldfish Swim School Fort Washington also offers weekly family swims (for both members and non-members) and birthday party packages. For more information or to register for lessons, visit the website or call 215/220-3828.