Why kids' swimming classes are fun for all the family

Splish and splosh goes little one...

Why kids' swimming classes are fun for all the family

They always say swimming is one of the most important sports to learn while one is young, very young. The earlier they perfect those strokes, the better the chances of kids mastering the skills required to jump into the deeper ends.

Among the benefits of swimming, especially for little ones living in a hotter climate like that of the UAE, is the fact that it may not always feel like too much work. As the cool water splashes across kids’ faces, they become immersed in the joy of practising their butterfly  or freestyle, all while developing physically and mentally as well.

“Kids in the UAE are becoming increasingly addicted to social media, video streaming websites and digital gaming. Their exposure to more screens is impacting their health,” says Dr Deepu Abraham, consultant neonatology and paediatrician at Zulekha Hospital, Dubai.

“A recent Canadian study found a significant link between higher levels of screen time at ages 24 and 36 months to poorer performance on developmental screening tests at 36 months,” he adds.

The contribution of the same towards rising childhood obesity can’t be ignored. It’s becoming more important than ever to actively engage kids in more exciting, healthier alternatives such as swimming.

“Swimming and water activities are always fun for kids. Aside from that, they have several health advantages. It’s the one exercise that actively involves most muscle groups in the body, helping increase lungs’ vital capacity and improving circulation,” says Dr Abraham.

For mums with picky eaters, you’ll also be happy to know that metabolism tends to spike during and after the sport, which in turn will help increase their appetite.

“The endorphins released during swimming are considered stress relievers, significantly affecting mood,” says Dr Abraham.

“Swimming will also help them develop a good, refreshing sleep pattern. Being a low-impact sport, the risk of injury is significantly lower compared to any other activity. One must also not discount the valuable experience a child gains in water, protecting them in cases of any accidental falls into unguarded water bodies,” he adds.

While researchers have found many benefits to swimming, parents still need to consult a paediatrician. “There are medical conditions such as having a perforated eardrum, in which case we wouldn’t recommend swimming,“ says Dr Abraham.

“Remember, however, that no other sport comes with as many balanced health benefits that a good an hour in a great pool can bring.”

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