[symple_accordion] [symple_accordion_section title=”What is baby swimming?”] Baby swimming (swimming for infants and toddlers) is a learning programme that helps children become familiar with the water through play. The programme is addressed to parents and babies aged between 4 months and 4 years old. [/symple_accordion_section] [symple_accordion_section title=”Is baby swimming suitable for all babies?”] Yes. Swimming is the first form of exercise that pediatricians all around the world recommend not only for healthy children, but also for children with medical problems, such as disabilities, asthma etc. One of the most important benefits of baby swimming is that it strengthens the entire immune system. The only case in which doctors might not recommend it is to children with skin problems, such as allergy to chlorine. [/symple_accordion_section] [symple_accordion_section title=”Is baby swimming suitable all through the year?”] Yes. All weather conditions are suitable for baby swimming, as the courses take place in indoor swimming pools. Both the pool water (usually 29 to 33° C) and the surrounding environment have an ideal temperature for children of that age. [/symple_accordion_section] [symple_accordion_section title=”Does the baby need to be able to walk before starting swimming lessons?”] No. Children start baby swimming lessons when they are 4 months old and they usually first learn how to swim and then how to walk. Also, children who attend baby swimming courses are admittedly able to walk earlier than children who do not know how to swim thanks to their muscular strengthening and kinetic development.[/symple_accordion_section] [symple_accordion_section title=”Is it safe to start from such a young age?”] Yes. Lessons take place under the supervision of experienced instructor, in indoor swimming pools with warm and low-level water. The child is accompanied by the parent and the teacher who is also always inside the water. In other countries, baby swimming programmes have been very popular and successful since a very long time, so there is no reason to worry. In addition, the course includes some life guarding exercises both for children and parents.[/symple_accordion_section] [symple_accordion_section title=”What is the right age to start baby swimming?”] The earlier the infant starts, the easier it is to familiarize with the water. This is true not only because infants maintain their reflex swimming movements for a short period after they are born, but also because it is easier to guide a child of 6 months than a child of 2 years old. In general, the most appropriate age is 4-5 months, when the infant still “remembers” its swimming movements in the womb, and then it can of course continue profiting until the age of 4 years. [/symple_accordion_section] [symple_accordion_section title=”What happens during the lesson?”] Baby swimming creates an ideal learning environment with lots of fun but without pressure. The child is the aim, the parent is the means and the teacher is the guide. All three of them create a harmonious unit, which educates the infants, shields their health and strengthens the relationship with their parents.[/symple_accordion_section] [symple_accordion_section title=”When did baby swimming start abroad?”] Baby swimming started in the 1960s in the United States and expanded to Australia, where it developed further. In Europe, it is particularly popular in Germany and in Finland.[/symple_accordion_section] [symple_accordion_section title=”When did baby swimming start in Greece?”]In Greece, the first and most specialized club called “Idria” was founded in 2000 by the professor of physical education Margarita Kotzia, the only person in Greece and one of the few in the world who hold a Master’s degree in infant swimming. Nicolas Hatzigiakoumis was the main coach at Idria and then became the programme manager in 3 swimming pools in Athens.[/symple_accordion_section] [/symple_accordion]
What do children learn through baby swimming and in how long?
First of all, it should be noted that every child is special and thus it is impossible to have a standard guaranteed performance for all children. Every child has a different level of receptivity, will and inclinations and therefore it is difficult to conduct an overall conclusion about what children learn in every stage of the baby swimming programme. Nevertheless, you can find below an indicative table of what children learn an every age together with a presentation of the skills they acquire. [symple_tabgroup] [symple_tab title=”Infants 6-15 months”] Under the right conditions and guidance, they learn how to hold their breath in the water after the specific command of the coach. If infants continue training, after their first year they are able to swim for 5 seconds between two adults, swim and grab the edge of the pool and make a small dive from a sitting position at the edge of the pool. They also begin to participate in games and express their joy with smiles. For the families that are unable to attend all the classes and fully benefit from baby swimming, we recommend them to help their children become familiar with water as early as possible, because this will help them perform better in swimming classes in the future.[/symple_tab] [symple_tab title=”Toddlers 19-24 months”]After they have acquired the above skills under the right conditions and guidance, they can now start learning how to dive from the edge of the pool and return there by themselves. Infants who continue practicing manage to significantly develop their resistance and their technique by the age of 25 months.[/symple_tab] [symple_tab title=”Toddlers 28-36 months”]They now learn how to rise to the surface and take a breath. Of course, developing this skill at this age might seem exaggerated. Usually, we wait for our young swimmers to start trying this by themselves, after they have developed their ability to propel the water and rise to the surface.[/symple_tab] [symple_tab title=”Toddlers 3-4 years”] They now start swimming backstroke. As they approach their fourth birthday, more and more children learn how to swim backstroke. The more experienced toddlers have even the ability to switch between backstroke and breaststroke.[/symple_tab][/symple_tabgroup] The child is being taught the basic swimming skills according to the pace dictated by her/his age and receptivity. Indicatively, an infant of 6-12 months can learn how to hold his/her breath with the head inside the water and float in backstroke position. Additionally, parents get all the useful information regarding safety and education in the water.