82% of Parents Want Children to Swim by Age 5

BY Rachel Cagle
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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.

"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.

One way children can be introduced to swimming is by attending a summer camp. According to AudienceSCAN, 16.8% of summer camp shoppers have children ages two to five. Another 43.3% live in city, urban or metropolitan areas where opportunities to swim may be slimmer.

"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."

According to AudienceSCAN, summer camp shoppers are also 386% more likely than other adults to pay for lessons and/​or instructions for a hobby or sport, such as swimming, within the next 12 months.

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. Look up learn to swim resources and/​or find swim lesson providers in your area.
  • 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.

How should you advertise to these shoppers? To 36.3% of them, the TV isn't just something to watch cartoons with their kids on, according to AudienceSCAN. It's also where they get most of their local news and where they saw ads that inspired 75.6% of them to take action within the last year. Summer Camp Shoppers are also 84% more likely than other adults to take action after seeing a pre-​roll video ad.

AudienceSCAN data is available for your applications and dashboards through the SalesFuel API. Media companies and agencies can access AudienceSCAN data through the AudienceSCAN Reports in AdMall.