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Swim Masters

Why Your Child Should Learn Swimming

Swimming is a leisure activity that dates back to prehistoric times.  It emerged first as a competitive sporting activity in the early 1800’s in England.  Today, whether competitive or leisure, swimming is a pastime that people of all ages enjoy around the world.  Swimming is most likely the only sport which also functions as a life skill. There are several advantages to swimming.  Enhancing stamina in one’s body and also knowing vital skills to keep safe in a pool or open water. Not yet convinced that you should send your child for swimming lessons?  Mr. Danny Ong, an instructor for over 20 years with SwimSafer, offers his proficiency on why parents need to strongly think about introducing swimming to children at a young age.  “When a child discovers exactly how to swim, he or she can delight in the water, and can likewise be secure,” says Mr. Ong.  

Why is it so important to learn to swim?  Most importantly, Singapore is an island country surrounded by water on all borders.  In fact, about seventy percent of our planet is covered in water. As wonderful as playing, swimming or participating in water activities can be, it also can transform itself into tragedy if one is not able to manage his or her body in the water.  According to stats by the United Nations (UN), drowning is the fourth leading cause of death in the world. It becomes crucial to teach children lifesaving skills as well as water survival abilities when they are young.

Swimming lessons are fun and will educate children the skills required to become confident when in or around the water.  Also, learning drifting techniques and appropriate protocol should they need to help someone else that is having difficulty in the water.

What is the “perfect age” which you should begin a child in swimming lessons?  There is no clear answer to this question. It is completely based on the individual child and how comfortable parents are with the concept of their child being subjected to water at a young age.  It is encouraging to note that “parent and child” swimming classes have become very popular today. Babies as young as four months old can experience water with the help of floatation devices, which being held by their mother and/or father.  

If you want your infant to be comfortable around water and begin teaching swim techniques early, you can start as early as a month old.  You might select to being in your own bath tub with shallow water. The best objective is to let your infant begin to enjoy the feeling of water on his or her skin.  Please remember that a baby under the age of 4 months must not be exposed to the water in a public swimming pool. This is due to the fact that an infant's body immune system is not completely established, as well as an extreme risk to germs and bacteria.  Also past the four month mark, it is advised that your infant should be exposed to warm water initially, as they have a tendency to get cold very quickly.   


Making the First Experience A Positive One

How do you find a swimming pool with warm water?  Singapore has swimming pools which offer lessons for infants in warm water indoor pools.  In addition, you can go to public swimming pools at 10:30-11:30 a.m. or 4:00-6:00 p.m. At this time, the water is warm throughout the pool if there has not been any rain.  Singapore has a tendency to experience substantially lower temperature levels throughout the month of January and February. It would be advisable to avoid these months when visiting outdoor pools, so children do not become cold in the chillier water.  The first experience should always leave a favorable perception for the child.

Mr. Ong suggests to “bring a warm flask with you and also mix the warm water right into the swimming pool water.  After that, scoop up the now warm water as well as carefully put it onto the child's skin. This will certainly make the change really smooth."  This technique can be utilized with babies and young children as well, especially on days which are significantly colder. Mr. Ong continues, "We have to always value the youngster's sensations when it worries the temperature of the water.  We need to declare, as well as motivate, and not resort to utilizing pressure." The child’s understanding is significant, as it is capable of affecting the discovering process for much better or even worse. 


Understanding the Benefits of Swimming


Swimming provides numerous benefits to the body.  Increasing one’s cardio function, becoming self-confident, and preserving one’s joints by exerting less effect on them, as contrasted to sporting activities on land.  It has also long been proven to help with asthmatic kids with lung function. However, if you make a decision to enlist an asthmatic child in a swimming class, please make sure they bring an inhaler and notify the coach of their condition prior to the first lesson.  Swimming is a skill that is all the more important and relevant to Singaporean children as they are bordered by water. "They ought to know what to do in order to keep themselves risk-free at overseas theme parks and coastlines," claims Mr. Ong. Essential skills such as allowing oneself to be rescued during a problem in the water and opening one's eyes underwater are best discovered gradually.  The former could appear repetitive, yet according to Mr. Ong, a person in distress in the water would not be inclined to get onto a floatation device. Instead, they would be much more willing to keep close to another human. This is a vital skill that will offer the brain a pre-conditioned signal that the eyes have to really feel comfortable when exposed to water. This would protect against a child from panicking in a real-life problem situation while in open water.


The SwimSafer Programme


SwimSafer is a national water security program introduced by the National Water Security Council (NWSC) 5 years ago.  Manulife Singapore is the presenting sponsor of SwimSafer. It offers six modern stages, each comprising of twelve hours of lesson time.  Water survival and also activity skills are shown in each phase, functioning continuously towards the next stage. At the end of each phase, each youngster will receive a stage conclusion certificate revealing his or her individual skill success.  A badge will also be awarded upon the conclusion of each stage. SwimSafer is an extensive programme which transits from play to stroke competency. It covers all facets of water safety, water survival and rescue procedures. While most swimming lessons emphasise on swim strokes, SwimSafer's curriculum is straightened with what other global swimming bodies, such as in the UK, USA and Australia are showing currently.  It is a significantly child-centered training course, where teachers do not dictate a time period which a child has to finish the 6 phases. it is left completely programmed to the speed of every youngster. Mr. Ong states, "We should take into consideration the self-worth of the child and also not emphasise on finishing the programme quickly. The trainers will certainly recognize best as to when to place the child with a swimming evaluation, only when he or she is fully all set."


Hesitation or Fear of Children and Water

You may wonder how we care for children whom have a fear or hesitation of the water at their first swimming lesson?  Children are never ever forced or pushed into the water and also they are permitted to stay with their parents at first to watch the programme being conducted.  You do not need to get in the water if you are not comfortable. This protects against battling with the child as well as additionally is a waste of time. The intent is to not cause an adverse photo of the pool in the child's mind.  Only then can skills learned during a swimming course be completely and favorably utilised by the child in the future. As many shopping centers these days have rooftop water playgrounds, enabling kids to play at them and appreciate themselves spraying in the superficial waters would certainly be a good basic task that allows a full understanding of water survival skills.


Swimming - Ultimately a Life Skill


Charlotte Goh, the 44-year-old Director of Advocacy at the National Volunteer as well as Philanthropy Centre, enlisted her four years of age child, Jonas, in the SwimSafer programme. "My partner as well as I are water lovers and we desired Jonas to learn to love the water as well as to take pleasure in water, not simply the sport of swimming.  We desired him, therefore, to be water-safe. The advantages have actually repaid as he is proficient in dealing with himself in water." Her utmost focus in the meantime is on her child having a good time in the water. She says, "Water play and also swimming lessons must be fun at this age. It's not about developing a national swimmer ... yet."  She adds that Jonas' love for water is obvious and that he has found swimming strokes that will certainly make him a better swimmer. Ms. Goh would likewise highly recommend the SwimSafer programme to other parents as she considers swimming to be a life skill.

In Singapore, most drowning tragedies are in open water and not in pools.  Therefore, a requirement to be knowledgeable about water security, rescue and survival techniques is essential.  Being able to consider oneself “drown-proof” does not exist. The best we can do is to become educated to prevent a drowning occurrence.  Mr. Ong adds, “All natural calamities such as tidal waves as well as man-made accidents at sea, are past our control. Moms and Dads ought to encourage their kids to take up swimming because it is inevitably regarding water safety and security.  When you grasp it, you are virtually secure in the water.”


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