We all know how important swim safety is in Grand Cayman. Walks on our beautiful 7 mile beach and boat trips to Rum Point all present potential dangers if toddlers and children do not know appropriate water safety or how to swim. Do we know the actual numbers behind this specific danger? It's hard to look but almost 800 kids drown each year; more than half are under age 5 in the Unites States.(1) Globally, the highest drowning rates are among children 1–4 years, followed by children 5–9 years.(2)
During the current COVID-19 pandemic, lung health is even more important and so is a well functioning immune system. Both the respiratory system and the immune system benefit from exercise. Not only are swim lessons helping to protect your child from drowning, but also providing an opportunity to improve their physical health.
There are so many positives to swimming regularly. Swimming keeps your child’s heart and lungs healthy, improves strength and flexibility, increases stamina and even improves balance and posture. The World Health Organization has some of the following guidelines:
Children and youth aged 5–17 should accumulate at least 60 minutes of moderate- to vigorous-intensity physical activity daily.
Amounts of physical activity greater than 60 minutes provide additional health benefits.
Most of the daily physical activity should be aerobic. Vigorous-intensity activities should be incorporated, including those that strengthen muscle and bone*, at least 3 times per week.(3)
There are many benefits of physical activity and swimming for cognitive development. Researchers found that children under five years old that participated in swimming accomplished language and cognitive milestones faster than non-swimming counterparts.(4). Children were on average 11 months ahead of the normal population in Oral Expression while six months ahead in Maths, two months ahead in Reading. (4).
Swimming in the ocean year-round in our beautiful turquoise Caribbean waters is an amazing blessing here in the Cayman Islands. The childlike wonder of seeing a turtle for the first time while snorkeling should be enjoyed by kids but safely. Sign your child up for 10 swimming lessons and watch them blossom cognitively while building the strength and endurance to keep them safe in the water.