Dolphins have a definite edge over humans. They learn to swim before learning to do just about anything else. But Elizabeth McCance's daughters, Phoebe (four years-old) and Sadie (four months), are getting a jump on their swimming. What differentiates Phoebe from a dolphin though, is that Phoebe, according to her mom, is a "real fish."
Elizabeth should know. She swims with her daughters every Sunday at the Westport Weston Family Y. Swimming is important to her, as she has a pool in the backyard of her Westport home. But she's not as concerned with her girls being speedy in the lap lanes as she is with their being safe in the water. "I don't enroll the girls in a lot of 'Mommy and Me' classes but this one seemed essential in terms of their having lifelong skills. And they really enjoy it, too."
Swimming at the Westport Weston Y is like coming home. A venerable presence in the downtown community, the "Y" has been focusing on aquatics here for almost 100 years. The current program offers lessons and aquatic activities for children as young as six months. For children these classes provide exercise, as well as the satisfaction of learning new swimming skills and the opportunity to increase their fitness and lifesaving abilities. And in-water experiences allow little ones to better develop their psychomotor skills because they can move more freely in the water than they can than on land.
Beyond fun, swimming is a critical skill for all people to know. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), drowning is the second-leading cause of injury-related death among children under the age of 15. And there are psychological benefits for young swimmers. Early swimming lessons help them become more confident and contribute to their socialization skills.
Elizabeth is just glad to spend some time with her daughters in the pool. "Phoebe learned to swim here," she says. "So it will always be a special place for us."
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