There are many great reasons to own a pool, but did you know all of the great benefits it can provide for your baby or grand-baby? A study by the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) shows that babies who have been taught to swim out-perform their peers. Baby swimmers have better balance and movement, and are also better at grasping things than non-swimmers. Professor of psychology at NTNU, Hermundur Sigmundsson, says that, “practice makes perfect.”
The study compared 19 baby swimmers against a control group of 19 children who had not participated in swimming as babies. The only factor separating the baby swimmers from the control group was swimming, all other factors were the same. The baby swimmers participated in swimming classes for two hours a week from the age of 2-3 months until they were about 7 months old. A typical session might involve helping the baby do a somersault on a floating mat, having the baby dive under water, jump from the pool edge, and balance on the hand of a parent while reaching to pick up floating objects. The study found there were very clear results that baby swimmers were the best in exercises that related to balance and the ability to reach for things.
In addition to better balance, movement, and grasping, teaching babies to swim also helps them be safer around water.
Tips to Keep Your Baby Safe in the Water:
- Make sure the pool is warm enough. Babies under six months need a temperature of about 32 degrees C. Make sure the water comes up to your baby’s shoulders to keep him or her warm, and keep the baby moving in the water.
- As soon as your baby starts to shiver, get the baby out of the pool and wrapped up warmly. Babies lose heat more quickly than adults, so they shouldn’t stay in the pool for too long.
- Start off with sessions of 10 minutes and build up to 20 minutes. If your baby is under a year old, limit your time in the water to 30 minutes maximum.
- If your baby has a bad cold or a temperature or seems unwell, don’t go swimming. Also, your baby shouldn’t swim with a stomach bug and shouldn’t go swimming until he has been clear for at least 48 hours.
- If your baby has a skin complaint, check with your GP to make sure that the chlorine won’t irritate him. Always rinse the chlorinated water off your baby after swimming and apply a moisturiser all over his skin, especially if he has dry skin or eczema.
Consider having your baby make a splash with swimming in your very own backyard pool. Contact Leisure Pools today (www.leisurepools.co.nz) and Get Swimming in Quality and Style.