Although there is usually talk of learning to swim or swimming, this is not accurate since babies are too young to acquire swimming skills. However, they acquire greater psychomotor development, motor coordination, cardiothoracic and especially muscular strengthening. This will help them improve their balance when facing their first movements, such as crawling and walking.
We can say that swimming pool activities with children represent one of the best early stimulation methods that we have within our reach.
Benefits of Water and the Pool in Children
There are numerous purely physical effects that favor the development of the child from a very young age, such as balance, buoyancy, propulsion ability, or spontaneous movements that cause displacement, the swimming reflex, and splashing as a manifestation of pleasure with water.
But one of the most striking and most reminiscent of his period in the womb is the respiratory protection reflex, which consists in the fact that in the presence of water in the respiratory tract. The child activates a defense mechanism by which it closes the upper airways. This effect disappears between 7 and 8 months.
When to Start With the Pool Activity?
It is recommended not to start before the fourth month of life since babies have not yet finished maturing their immune systems. Despite this, in many cases, it begins around 6 weeks of life.
We must bear in mind that children develop a fear of water at a later age. So if we have familiarized them with water before then, we will avoid difficulties in their future learning to swim.
Precautions in Swimming Pool Activity
For this activity to be truly an enriching experience for children and parents. It is necessary that they take into account a series of precautions whenever they are in a pool or in any other aquatic environment with a child. Here we list the most outstanding:
- Whenever the baby is in the water, the adult must have it within their reach without neglecting a moment and never turn their back on the baby.
- Whenever an activity begins in the pool, the program must instruct parents about the maturational limitations of babies, especially about the risks of suffocation in the water. The maturational development to be able to swim will not be acquired until they are four years old.
- You have to be aware of possible hypothermia, checking that the water temperature is adequate for a young child. The recommended temperature is between 89.6 and 34º.
- Ensure that the facilities where the aquatic activity is to be carried out meet the hygiene and health conditions required by the health authorities, with chlorine treatments if possible salt.
- Carry out specific exercises at each stage, led by professionals who are experts in the field. Each baby has a rate of progress and it is the program that must adapt to it and not the other way around.
In short, activities for babies in the pool can be an excellent tool to achieve healthy and happy children since it favors the optimal development of many areas.