Sadly, drowning is the third-biggest cause of accidental death among children under five in the UK.
Dolphin Swim Academy’s carefully designed curriculum uses the best practices from learn to swim programs around the world to maximise their physical development in learning the fundamental aspects of swimming. Our parent and baby classes aim to provide fun and enjoyment of the water through games and play combined with simple instructions to baby, enabling them to gain confidence in water. With that confidence infants learn to jump in, get to safety and climb out again before the age of two.
At birth babies are able to hold their breath automatically underwater, make a short journey towards light at the surface completely unaided and then float on the surface without any help at all.
At Dolphins babies can be introduced to the water as young as 8 weeks old, most medical bodies recommend this age because of inoculations and inner ear development. At this age a baby will easily take to warm water as there is no fear, no awareness and the diving reflex is still active. The purpose then, at this tender age, is to train baby to hold their breath and obey simple commands, very quickly they learn that “Ready – Go!” means ‘hold my breath’!
As baby progresses they learn to hold on, turn and propel themselves towards their parent underwater, from the age of eight months they start to show obvious enjoyment of the water, splashing, kicking and trying to blow bubbles.
At one year they are able to perform simple tasks such as reaching out and holding onto the bar, falling into the water from a small height and swimming deeper underwater. By now their cardio-vascular system (heart and lungs) have strengthened to an extent far greater than infants who do not swim. You will also start to notice their development on land; their appetite, sleep patterns and general health compare more favourably than non-swimming infants.
Between one year and eighteen months their rate of progress will astonish you. Now they can be dropped into the water from above your head, recover and surface with a smile! They can be thrown towards a floating mat, climb onto it and enjoy a sing-song before excitedly throwing themselves back into the water with obvious delight!