Importance of Play and Early Swimming Lessons
Summary: We talk to Dr. Byran Korth about the importance of play in your baby’s development. Then, we talk to Judy Heumann of Infant Aquatics about early swimming lessons for baby survival safety. Dr. Byran Korth answers the following questions: Why is play so important to development and how much play does a child need? Do I need to be on the floor playing all the time or is it better for my child to play alone sometimes or in groups with others? What does “play” really mean and how do I help foster it? Isn’t school better than play for learning? What should I expect from my child at different ages (6 months, 1 year, 18 months, 2 years, 2.5 years, 3 years and beyond) in terms of play (how long will she play, what will she play and will she play with others?) Are there books you recommend for “play-challenged” moms? For more information on parenting tips, check the http://www.aces.edu/pubs/docs/indexes/hefcd.tmpl Check out the section on “Principles of Parenting”, “Good BEEginings” and “Ages and Stages”. Also, check out http://www.naeyc.org/ece/eyly/default.asp (select “Play and Learning” under topic at bottom of page) http://www.zerotothree.org/site/PageServer?pagename=key_play (We also LOVE the Zero to Three website) Judy Heumann of Infant Aquatics answers the following questions: Why should we consider having our children learn to swim before they are three years old? What Can Infants and Children Learn? How Are Lessons Conducted? Will Children Retain Their Skills? Not all instructors know how to teach survival swimming to toddlers. How do I find a teacher who can? Other safety tips: Not all life jackets float children face up. You should run a test to determine whether your life jacket allows your child to float face up. Flotation devices such as arm bands are not used in lessons because they actually hamper a child’s ability to learn to swim properly and become a crutch. Children who use “floaties” truly think that they can swim and often are the victims of aquatic accidents when they enter the water without these devices. Please remember that all children should be supervised at all times while in and around the water regardless of the swimming skills they have learned. No matter how well skilled, no one (adult or child) is ever drown-proof. Remember to think about your You Know You’re a Mom If . . . ideas for our contest!