The answer to this can be looked at from two angles. The first is the holistic and developmental benefits that come from time in the water, and the second is the life skill that contributes to safety in and around water.
Some Holistic and Development Benefits:
Water supports the body’s weight; therefore babies are able to move their limbs freely in the pool a long time before they can crawl and walk on their own.
This gives an early feeling of freedom and independence; it allows us to work their reflexes, muscles and stimulate their minds in ways we may not be able to do on dry land. Parents get valuable one to one time with their child; a lovely way in which to bond, free from the distractions that surround us daily.
The sensory stimulation achieved in water goes beyond sight, touch and sound; young babies are able to take part in exercises that engage the vestibular system, which detects motion, gravity and provides us with a sense of balance – often long before they would do so out of the pool.
Professor Hermundur Sigmundsson published a study conducted into baby swimming which concluded:
“It’s incredibly exciting that specific training for young babies has an effect later in life. Development is a dynamic interplay between maturation, growth, experience and learning. Our study shows that we must never underestimate the learning aspect,”
An overview of the findings can be read at:
A Life Skill:
With regards to Health & Safety there were 435 drowning accidents in 2005 of which 39 were children under the age of 14 years. “Almost 40% of children that drowned were in the water swimming or playing; another 40% fell in or were swept away. These children were either unaware of the risk of being in or near the water, or did not have the skills to save themselves.”
A third of child accidental drowning fatalities occur in or near the home, in garden ponds or other areas of gathered water in the back garden, and in the bath. These are predominantly children aged between 0-6. In a typical scenario the young child escapes supervision or the adult leaves them on their own just for a moment. Young children must be constantly supervised, and adults should make themselves aware of the risks of the water, taking steps to reduce or eliminate them
Quoted directly from:
With these statistics in mind it is important to introduce water safety to children as soon as possible ~ this is incorporated into Little Turtle Swim Company classes in a fun way that builds their confidence while gaining a healthy respect for water without fearing it.