Swimming is a survival, fitness and social skill that every child should have. More than that, swimming helps in the mental and physical development of children. Studies have actually shown that infants become smarter and more confident as a result of swimming.
To accelerate the learning process, parents should consider the use of buoyancy aids like swim aids and swim fins for their children. Not only do these aids help your child to get more comfortable in the water, the buoyancy effect will also allow them to perform more difficult movements with their hands and legs.
We’re going to take a look below at several swims aids that have been proven to be effective for children.
Swimming armbands, which is the most popular form of swimming aids, help children stay afloat in the water. They are very useful tools to have when trying to get your children to become more comfortable in the water. The buoyancy provided by the armbands allows children, particularly younger ones, to learn about the concept of floating and try out new movements. They are exceptionally useful for new and beginner level swimmers. Armbands are suitable for kids older than one year old.
Swim fins serve two functions to users: they help maintain the straight horizontal shape of swimmers in the water, and help provide greater thrust to the ankle and legs. These two functions enable swimmers to practice and refine their strokes without the fear of sinking underwater. Suitable for children who have learned to walk.
Although they look somewhat similar, a swim vest is functionally different from a life jacket, which provides a significantly higher level of buoyancy. Swim vests are meant to keep swimmers afloat so they can focus exclusively on their strokes and lateral shape. Suitable for kids four years and older.
Neck floats are small circular tubes that are fitted around the neck of infants. They allow infants to experience the sensation of floating long before they learn to walk or even stand. Their primary purpose is to encourage mobility and exploration, which are critical developmental factors for babies and toddlers. Suitable for infants aged between six and 18 months old.
A pull buoy is a figure-eight shaped swimming aid that is placed between thighs or ankles. They help to keep the feet afloat and maintain optimal swimming form. For intermediate level swimmers, pull buoys create resistance that helps increase upper body strength. Suitable for kids age above ten years old.
One of the toughest challenges when swimming is to find the time and opportunity to breathe without disrupting your rhythm. Elevation of the head and the twisting and turning motion is detrimental towards developing a perfect swimming technique and posture. Swim snorkels allow children to breathe comfortably while in the water, and thus, allow them to focus on perfecting their swimming skills. Swim snorkels should ideally be used by older children, preferably those over the age of 12 as the mouthpiece and nose clip can feel slightly constricting.
Important safety reminder: Infants under the age of six months should not be exposed to chlorinated pool water and enclosed open bodies of water (ponds, lakes, etc.) as the chemical content and microorganisms inside the water may affect their immune system.