Children's Clubs & Activities

Apr 7, 2010

Make A Splash!

Sitting poolside, it’s fascinating to see how different children approach the water.

Category: Childrens Clubs and Activities
Posted by: Clare

The fearless ones bomb into the pool and create a large ripple of waves, much to their parents’ disapproval. At the shallow end, other armband-clad youngsters pace the perimeter, gazing at the wet, wavy stuff, sniffing that alien chlorine, trying to look brave, and fearful of taking the plunge. Yet, the only way for a water-averse child to progress is to persevere with swimming pool visits until he or she feels comfortable enough to dip those little toes in! Rewards for such early bravery will be repaid by the bucket-load, as children grow older.  And, happily, two thirds of the world’s surface will suddenly become less threatening.

The huge importance of teaching a child to swim cannot be better highlighted than by the statistic that drowning is the third most common cause of accidental death amongst children in the UK. Tragically, around 40 children drown each year. Most accidents are known to have happened in inland waters, such as lakes, rivers and canals; followed by accidents around the coast; and then in swimming pools. So, it goes without saying that children need to learn a healthy respect for water and understand not to push out beyond the limits of safety. Basic water safety tips are available from your local lifeguard or via the RoSPA website - where you will be flooded with water safety advice and information.

Yet the greatest way to learn basic water safety is simply to learn to swim. And the teasing appeal of crystal-clear water on a scorching day makes summer the perfect time of year to start swimming or to refresh techniques. With this natural attraction towards water at this time of year, it is also a great time for your child to learn to swim or to improve that swimming technique.

In addition to basic water safety, the advantage of learning to swim is that it is a healthy activity which can be continued throughout life. As it exercises the whole body, regular swimming also builds stamina, muscle strength and cardio-vascular fitness. Plus it helps combat obesity and improve poor levels of fitness. There are also non-physical advantages to swimming, such as learning self-discipline and gaining a sense of sportsmanship. Research has shown that, in general, as a group, swimmers seem to do better in school than non-swimmers.