Teaching your child how to swim is an extremely important safety endeavor that most parents try to accomplish during the toddler years. But even if you're not sold on taking your baby to swimming classes, there's an unexpected reason — one that has nothing to do with safety or physical development — why you should ensure that your child knows how to swim competently by age 5: it could mean they have higher IQs than their classmates who haven't nailed down the art of the backstroke just yet.
According to the results of a four-year-long study, conducted by the Griffith Institute for Educational Research, early sensory/motor stimulation in the water tends to contribute to advanced cognitive development and higher intelligence.
Through a separate survey, which was commissioned by Swimways Corp. in honor of "National Learn to Swim Day" coming up on May 19, it was discovered that more than 80 percent of parents had no idea that cognitive development was affected by learning how to swim before age 5, and 86 percent of parents were surprised by the fact that swimming can help develop oral expression. If you fall into either or both of these two camps, let these mental benefits be even more motivation for you to get your little ones enrolled in swimming classes or to read up on the skills you can teach them yourself.
For additional resources to help teach your child how to swim, visit teachmetoswim.com.