As we come to the end of another school term, and the start of the winter break, we find many of our families put their child’s swimming lessons on hold until it becomes warmer. While the idea of swimming lessons often loses its appeal during these cooler months, it’s important to remember that water safety is a year-round concern and the dangers of water do not disappear when the weather gets colder. During 2016/17, there were 32 drowning deaths in Australia during winter, so it’s vital that children are encouraged to participate and learn about water safety all year round.
There is a misconception that children who attend swimming lessons during winter are more prone to colds and the flu. In fact, regular exercise such as swimming can help to boost your child’s immunity. Children don’t catch colds by swimming in winter as long as you maintain their body warmth when leaving the Centre. Make sure your child is dry and warm and bring extra layers including beanies to keep their little bodies toasty warm before heading out.
Deciding to take a break for winter can cause issues when resuming lessons later in the year. Children who continue with year-round swimming lessons progress quicker than those who don’t and taking a break can often cause a regression of skills and depletion of water confidence. Skills that are learnt can continue to be consolidated and advanced, rather than catching up later in the year. Continuing swimming lessons through winter will ensure all the time and money you have invested is not wasted over the winter months.
In many cases, winter is one of the best times of year to swim! This is particularly true for class sizes, as your child may get more time with their teacher. Participating in lessons through the year helps children to stay socially connected and encourages new friendships while having fun!