Web Exclusive: Swimming may help kids in school, study finds

Web Exclusive

(CBS/KPOH) - Do you want your child to be more well rounded?  How about do better in school? New research shows you should enroll them in swim classes and the earlier you do it, the better! Experts say what infants learn in the water can translate to success in other areas later in their childhood.  

Little ones at a swim class in Mesa, Arizona are a long way from walking. In fact, they can't even crawl, but that isn't stopping them from taking an afternoon dip. Kaci Lint couldn't wait to get her 9 week old son, Ollie in the water after enrolling his older brother in swim lessons two years back.

"My first class with my older son I was definitely one of the nervous parents," says -- Kaci Lint, Mom. "But with this one, it was just really exciting. We wanted to know how soon we could start him."    

For decades pediatricians looked down on children under four years of age taking swim lessons, but in the last couple years that's changed. Now a study by Griffith University in Australia shows many benefits of properly introducing infants to the water. The biggest one has to do with their readiness for school.
"They're 15 months ahead in social and emotional development by four years of age. They're six months ahead in physical development and 10 months ahead in cognitive development," says Julie Zancanaro, with Hills Swimming and Toddler Babies and Toddler Program in Sydney, Australia.

"My one that we started is two now and cognitively he's above the board," says Kaci.

Swim lessons are also beneficial for children with disabilities. 2-year-old Colton Hecker was born blind. He can't walk or speak. He started swim lessons when he was six weeks old.

"I believe that the water's helped him in his physical therapy and how he is developing," says Simona Hecker.   

Swim lessons aren't just good for kids development. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, if a parent puts a child in some type of swim lessons, not only is the child safer, but the parent becomes safer as well.  



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