Active and free playtime are critical factors in the mental and physical development of children.
According to a 2012 research by researchers at Utrecht University, play time can enhance the early development of children by between 33% and 67% (page 7) through improvements in language, social, problem solving and logical skills.
Other studies over the years, meanwhile, indicate that swimming is one of the most effective forms of active playtime for children.
However, before you rush your child to the nearest pool, you should perhaps consider which kids swimming aids are best for your child.
Swim aids will make the transition from land to water so much easier for your little ones. Aside from that, these aids can also provide an additional safeguard against drowning and sunburn – you can never be too careful when it comes to health and safety!
Don’t get overwhelmed. Despite the multitude of choices available on the market, you will rarely need to get anything beyond the six items listed below (which are conveniently arranged in ascending order from infancy).
Babies can be introduced to swimming pools at the age of six months (any sooner, and parents run the risk of upsetting the babies’ fragile immune system). However, in order to avoid any awkward incidents in the pool, it is wise to let them wear swim diapers. Made from polyester, swim nappies are waterproof and offer a UPF50+ protection against the blistering rays of the sun. As a bonus, swim diapers usually have better buoyancy compared to conventional nappies.
Baby floats are basically pool ring-like aids with seat and canopy attachments. Simply place your children in the float, and let them drift around the pool and experience the water in all its glory. . Also, the reversible canopy will come in handy on hot afternoons. However, do not leave the baby unattended under any circumstances. A baby float can capsize quite easily if the baby uses too much force when their paddling feet
Also known as floating armbands, arm floats are inflated plastic swimming aids that are placed on the upper arms of children. They provide exceptional buoyancy to users, and will allow children to focus on mastering basic swimming strokes instead of worrying about sinking underwater with every action.
Pool toys are amazing for young children as they add elements of fun and spontaneity to swimming lessons or practice. Children from as young as two years old can benefit from pool toys such as fabric pool balls, dive rings and dive sticks.
Swim fins focus on providing superior buoyancy to swimmers while helping them to maintain a technically sound posture. This will drastically improve their swimming ability and other fundamental aspects of swimming. Some fins are actually very well-designed, and feature fun elements like shark fins and Disney characters.
Floating shirts, usually made from neoprene, offer many benefits to young swimmers. They have very low water resistance, which reduces the physical demands on children when they swim. Floatation shirts also have bright, colourful finishes, which makes them easy to spot over long distance – which can be useful in lakes or the beach.
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