Water safety is a serious issue wherever you are in the world. Living in Doha, it is even more critical, with beaches on our doorstep and swimming pools in most compounds and at many villas. Swimming is taught in schools and is an important skill for children to learn, primarily to reduce the risk of drowning. Gemma Hughes, Legacy Swim Academy Aquatics Manager, is passionate about water safety. “Drowning is still the highest worldwide cause of death in children under the age of four years old. Young children can drown in as little as an inch orb quickly and silently,” she says. According to Hughes, learning how to swim should not be optional. She considers swimming a vital skill that every child should learn, “not all children will love swimming, but they should all learn how to behave and be safe in and around the water as a priority”.
Swimming is, of course, great fun, whether you are at the beach or in a pool. Everyone loves splashing around in the water, and once you can swim, you can take boat trips, go kayaking and enjoy lots of other water sports. There are many other reasons why you should teach your baby to swim:
- Bonding with your child: Spending precious time together
- Physical development: Gross and fine motor skills, coordination, muscle strength, respiratory development, balance, flexibility and immunity
- Psychological and cognitive development: Confidence, as well as improved sleeping and eating patterns, communication skills