| Wednesday, May 2, 2018
Swimways Study Reveals over Half of American Parents are Unaware that Learning to Swim Has Significant Developmental Benefits for Children
7th Annual Swimways National Learn to Swim Day™ on May 19th reinforces the importance and benefits of learning to swim at a young age
VIRGINIA BEACH, Va., May 3, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- In honor of National Water Safety Month, a national survey commissioned by Swimways Corp., a leading pool and outdoor recreational products manufacturer, revealed that more than 4 out of 5 parents understand that learning to swim by age 5 increases a child's self-confidence. However, 88% of parents were unaware that learning to swim before age 5 can also aid in the development of mathematical skills. In addition, the survey found that only 14% of parents understand that swimming can help develop oral expression, and less than half of those surveyed understood that swimming can boost children's social skills.
For the past two years on National Learn to Swim Day™, Swimways has partnered with the USA Swimming Foundation, a non-profit organization whose mission is to save lives and build champions – in the pool and in life –raising awareness about water safety and the importance of teaching children to swim. Two-time Olympic medalist and USA Swimming Foundation Ambassador Elizabeth Beisel will serve as the spokesperson on Swimways National Learn to Swim Day™ to be held on May 19, 2018.
"The Swimways survey results demonstrate parents' understanding of the physical benefits of swimming, but many are unaware of the additional mental and psychological advantages of learning to swim at an early age," states Elizabeth Beisel.
A comprehensive four-year study by the Griffith Institute for Educational Research found that children who were taught to swim by 5 years of age had statistically higher IQs because of their early sensory/motor stimulation in the water. Additionally, the study showed that these children were more advanced in their cognitive and physical development than their non-swimming peers.
As to when children should be introduced to swimming, parents overwhelmingly agree (82%) that children should learn to swim by at least age 5. However, mothers and fathers don't see eye-to-eye about when their little ones should experience their first swimming lesson. Mothers are far more comfortable with children learning to swim before they turn 1 – 28% vs. 14% of fathers.
"It is most important for parents to involve their children in swimming at an early age," states Monica Jones, Vice President of Marketing Swimways Corp. "Not only will it be beneficial to their overall development, but it will inspire a lifetime of discovery and love of the water."
To celebrate Swimways National Learn to Swim Day™, Beisel recommends these learn-to-swim tips for parents:
- Once your child has learned to swim, create consistent practice time to enhance his/her skills and increase their confidence.
- Family play time in the water can also reinforce confidence. Consider water toys, pool floats, pool games and swim training gear that make learning-to-swim fun!
- Every family has different needs when it comes to swim instruction. For learn to swim resources, visit www.teachmetoswim.com, and to find swim lesson providers in your area, visit https://www.usaswimmingfoundation.org/find-swim-lessons.
- Swimming uses a ton of energy. Remember to take breaks and keep kids hydrated to maintain their level of confidence in the water.
- Motivation is key! Keep focused on the 'fun' aspects of swimming with family and friends.
The Swimways Survey was conducted by Wakefield Research among 1,000 nationally representative U.S. parents with children under 18 living in the home, between April 3 and April 6, 2018, using an email invitation and an online survey. Results for the interviews conducted in this survey are accurate to within plus or minus 3.1 percentage points with a 95% certainty.
About Swimways Corp.
Based in Virginia Beach, Virginia, Swimways, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Spin Master (TSX: TOY; www.spinmaster.com), is a leisure and recreational water products manufacturer striving to make free time more fun through innovation. Swimways is rich in traditional values and is respected for the quality and integrity of its products and services. With distribution in over 20,000 storefronts, Swimways markets four unique brands: Swimways™, Kelsyus™, COOP™ and Aerobie™. The company's diverse staff is passionate about developing fun and engaging products for kids. Swimways is equally passionate about making sure kids are safe in and around the water and believes learning to swim is an important life skill.
In 2012, Swimways established National Learn to Swim Day™, the third Saturday of May each year, dedicated to educating parents and children about water safety and the importance and benefits of learning to swim. Swimways has been helping kids learn to swim for over 50 years - longer than anyone else (except parents, of course!). For more information about Swimways, visit www.Swimways.com.
About the USA Swimming Foundation
The USA Swimming Foundation serves as the philanthropic arm of USA Swimming. Established in 2004, the Foundation works to strengthen the sport by saving lives and building champions— in the pool and in life. Whether we're equipping our children with the life-saving skill of learn-to-swim through our Make a Splash initiative, or providing financial support to our heroes on the U.S. National Team, the USA Swimming Foundation aims to provide the wonderful experience of swimming to kids at all levels across the country. To learn more, visit www.usaswimmingfoundation.org.