Babes and Waves

Everyone knows that swimming is the ideal exercise at any age – but not everyone realizes from how early a point in life that axiom “holds water”…
An enrichment course was hosted by Ezer Mizion’s Yankel Kornwasser Hydrotherapy Pool on the subject of “Infant Swimming.”
The highly professional course, offered by Ezer Mizion in conjunction with Tel Aviv University, included 80 hours of instruction – 50 theory hours, and another 30 hours of supervised hands-on in the pool.
The top level course instructors included Shimon Eyal, program director, Irit Barkan, hydro-therapist, and Shiri Ditkowsky, veteran infant swimming instructor.
The syllabus of the course included a wide variety of topics, among them: anatomy and physiology, early childhood development, parent/child psychology, influence of water on body processes and on the immune system, first aid, hydrotherapy and music for infants, pool safety, and practical training.
After successful completion of the course, participants received certification from the University, qualifying them as “Infant Swimming Instructors”.
Although a majority of the participants were hydro-therapists seeking enrichment for the population they work with, there were also some interested mothers who joined the course.
Infant Swimming – What and Why?
Infant Swimming is geared for babies from the age of three months. When done correctly, under the direction of skilled professionals, this unique activity can be adapted to the needs of every child and help both normal and special needs babies develop at an optimum pace.
The premise of Infant Swimming is that from the early age of 3 months, water activity can potentially increase a child’s intelligence, focus, alertness, and visual perception. Significant motor and cognitive change can be achieved over the course of time with patience and a consistent, professional program.
Among the objectives achieved in an Infant Swimming Program are: proper development and movement in water, lung and respiratory development, motor activity to enhance coordination, muscle building and increased flexibility.
Interwoven into the exercises are games, songs and laughter. In this way, motor skills improve in a fun and enjoyable manner.
The program also has its emotional benefits – strengthening the child’s self-confidence and contributing to the parent/child bond.
Maximum benefit is derived by infants who begin water activity before age one, but it is never too late to enjoy this immensely positive, calming joint parent-child experience say Ezer Mizion staff members.
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