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Raising Kids

Overview

Published: 12/02/2013

Teaching babies to swim turns out to be more than just fun. Baby swimmers have better balance and are also better at grasping at things than non-swimmers. This difference persists even when children are five years old.

 

Hermundur Sigmundsson, a professor of psychology at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, and Brian Hopkins, a professor of psychology from Lancaster University, have shown that baby swimming is good for developing balance and movement in infants and young children.

 

The study involved comparing baby swimmers against a control group of children who had not participated in baby swimming.

 

The only factor that separated the groups was swimming. All other factors, such as the parents’ education, housing and economic status, were the same.

 

The baby swimmers had participated in swimming classes for two hours a week from the age of two-to-three months until they were about seven months old.At about age five, both baby swimmers and the control group were tested with similar exercises. “We saw very clearly that baby swimmers were the best in exercises that related to balance and the ability to reach for things,” said Sigmundsson. 

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