Summertime is coming and it is time to get in the water! Children swim for fun, to beat the heat, and in competitive sports all year long. With an increase in various water activities available during the summer, it is important for youth to be strong swimmers for safety, both in and around water.
“Safety first” when swimming is important for everyone to have a great time in the water. Here are 3 tips to enjoy the water safely.
- Never swim alone - When youth are swimming with family and friends, they should practice the buddy system. They should also swim in a supervised area near a lifeguard or water watcher on deck.
- Sunblock - Protect yourself from the sun by wearing sunblock. Waterproof 35 SPF sunscreen or higher will keep you from being sunburned. Be sure to reapply sunscreen when getting in and out of the water.
- “Throw, Don’t Go! - If someone is struggling in the water, the best practice is to get a buoy, rope, or floatation device to throw and get them to safety, rather than going in the water.
BENEFITS OF LEARNING TO SWIM
Now that we are safe, let’s discuss 4 benefits of swimming.
- Become a Lifelong Swimmer - Building muscles for strong swimming skills will likely make a person a lifelong swimmer.
- Reduce the Risk of Drowning – Swimming is a crucial lifesaving skill. According to the National Drowning Prevention Alliance, if a child learns how to swim and practices swimming every year, they can reduce their chances of drowning by 88%.
- Exercise – Dr. Kenneth Cooper lists swimming as 1 of the top 5 aerobic activities. Swimming is great for cardio and heart health. When in the water, every muscle in your body extends to allow swimmers to maneuver in the water, keeping your body afloat.
- Confidence - Water is an element that brings a sense of soothing and calmness to our sensory systems. The ability to relax in the water increases confidence when swimming. Children that can master swimming skills are more confident outside of the water, too.
There are many ways to enjoy the water and stay active.
Swim programs run lessons for all levels and abilities all year long, so don’t let the seasons stop you from learning to swim. Beyond just having fun in the water, children can learn competitive strokes (freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke, and butterfly) and join swim teams in high school, college, master level, and even the Olympics. Water sports like water polo, water skiing, and boating are also ways to enjoy water activities.
As you enjoy the pool, lake, ocean, and water parks this summer, jump in, make a splash, be sure to stay water safe, and have fun!