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The aim of the study was to explore the effects of baby swimming on subsequent motor abilities. A range of motor abilities was examined in 4-year-old children who had previously participated in a programme of baby swimming (n= 19) and compared with a matched group of coevals who had not had this experience (n= 19). As predicted from the nature of the exercises that comprise the programme, the effects of baby swimming were restricted to abilities associated with prehension and balance. Suggestions are made as to how the theme of this hypothesis-generating, demonstration study can be pursued in the future with more rigorous experimental controls and applications to children with disabilities and impairments.
Baby swimming: exploring the effects of early
intervention on subsequent motor abilitiescch_990428..430
H. Sigmundsson* and B. Hopkins†‡
*Department of Psychology, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway
†Department of Psychology & Centre for Research in Human Development, Lancaster University, Lancaster, UK, and
‡Human Movement Science Programme, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway
Accepted for publication 5 May 2009
balance, infant
stimulation, motor
development, prehension
Department of
Psychology,Nor wegian
University of Science and
Technology, 7491
Trondheim, Norway
Aim The aim of the study was to explore the effects of baby swimming on subsequent motor
Background A range of motor abilities was examined in 4-year-old children who had previously
participated in a programme of baby swimming (n=19) and compared with a matched group of
coevals who had not had this experience (n=19).
Results As predicted from the nature of the exercises that comprise the programme,the effects of
baby swimming were restricted to abilities associated with prehension and balance.
Conclusions Suggestions are made as to how the theme of this hypothesis-generating,
demonstration study can be pursued in the future with more rigorous experimental controls and
applications to children with disabilities and impairments.
Cross-cultural studies have shown that subjecting infants to
circumscribed or general forms of physical exercise facilitates
the development of fundamental motor abilities or motor mile-
stones (e.g. Hopkins & Westra 1988). There is experimental
evidence to support this effect (McGraw 1935; Lagerspetz et al.
1971; Zelazo et al. 1972).
Are there other forms of physical exercise, not addressed by
these studies, that may enhance motor development? One
potential candidate is baby swimming. In recent years,there has
been an upsurge of interest among parents in providing their
infants with this aquatic-based type of early experience, espe-
cially in Iceland where there is a long-standing commitment to
the benefits of swimming due in part to the ready availability of
hot springs.
The present study compares the motor abilities of Icelandic
children at 4 years of age who experienced baby swimming
exercises at 2 to 3 months age with a matched sample of those
who did not. Taking into account that the swimming routine
provides vigorous vestibular stimulation as well as promoting
eye–hand co-ordination (see below), we predicted that any
effects at 4 years would be most clearly manifest in tasks involv-
ing balancing and prehensile abilities.
A questionnaire was sent to the parents of 63 children living in
Reykjavik who had participated in a programme of baby
swimming lessons for 2 h a week over a period of at least 4
months, some 4 to 5 years previously. Among other things, it
requested information about the frequency and length of time
the child had received swimming lessons. On this basis, 19
children (10 boys, nine girls) were selected as having
received the requisite amount of swimming experience. A
similar questionnaire was delivered to all parents of 4-year-old
Child: care, health and development
Original Article doi:10.1111/j.1365-2214.2009.00990.x
© 2009 Blackwell Publishing Ltd
children (n=410) currently attending the 15 nursery schools
from which the swimming experience group was assembled.
Accordingly, 19 children with no experience of baby swim-
ming were selected, matched with the previous group for age,
sex and parental level of education and socio-economic status.
The mean ages for the ‘swimming’ and ‘no swimming’ groups
were 4.72 years (SD =0.235) and 4.47 years (SD =0.241)
Baby swimming routine
The majority of children taking part in baby swimming do so
between the ages of 2 to 7 months, with 1-h sessions carried
out in a water temperature of 35°C. A session begins with a
‘warm-up’ in which the parents sing to their children while
moving them through the water and encouraging them to
stand supported on a hand. Subsequently, an instructor assists
the child in completing somersaults on a thin mattress floating
on the water, diving under water, providing encouragement to
pick up rings floating on the water and jumping from a sup-
ported position on the side of the pool into the water. During
the last 10 min, the parents again balance the infants on a
hand and bring them into reaching distance of objects floating
on the water.
Assessment of motor ability
At 4 years of age, each child was tested on the standardized
Movement Assessment Battery for Children in a quiet room in
their nursery school for the following abilities (Henderson &
Sugden 1992): manual dexterity (posting coins, threading
beads, bicycle trail), ball skills (catching bean bag, roll-
ing ball into goal) and balance (one-leg balance, jumping
over a cord, walking with heels raised). Raw scores were
converted to scale scores according to the norms for child-
ren aged 4 to 6 years, with the higher the score the poorer
the performance. Comparisons among the two groups of
children were made with the Mann–Whitney U-test (one-
There was no difference in overall performance (see Table 1),
but there were two significant contrasts between theswimming’
and the ‘no swimming’ groups: one involving prehension (Ball
skills sub-test, P<0.05) and the other static balance (one-leg
balance item on the Balance sub-test, P<0.017). Both out-
comes, favouring the swimming group,were in accordance with
the predicted effects of being exposed to regular sessions of baby
Children experiencing a regular programme of baby swimming
at 2 to 7 months of age manifested superior motor performance
on a standardized, age-appropriate test as 4-year-olds relative to
Table 1. Mean values and standard deviations (SD) on Movement ABC items for Icelandic 4-year-old children [19 in the experimental (Exp.) group
and 19 in the control group]
Exp. n=19 Control n=19
P*CIMean SD Mean SD
Total score 4.7 3.5 6.5 4.3 ns. -4.40 to 0.77
Manual dexterity 0.5 1.0 0.4 0.7 ns. -0.45 to 0.76
Posting coins 0.1 0.4 0.2 0.6 ns. -0.39 to 0.28
Threading beads 0.4 0.9 0.1 0.3 ns. -0.16 to 0.79
Bicycle trail 0 0 0.1 0.4 ns. -0.32 to 0.11
Ball skills 2.8 1.6 3.8 2.5 0.05 -2.38 to 0.38
Catching bean bag 2.2 1.6 2.9 2.0 ns. -1.87 to 0.50
Rolling ball into goal 0.6 0.9 0.9 1.3 ns. -1.08 to 0.44
Balance 1.5 2.2 2.3 2.5 ns. -2.32 to 0.79
One-leg balance 0.02 0.1 0.4 0.8 0.017 -0.80 to 0.01
Jumping over cord 1.5 2.2 1.7 2.0 ns. -1.60 to 1.17
Walking heels raised 0 0 0.2 0.5 ns. -0.39 to 0.08
*Mann–Whitney U-test (one tailed).
†CI: 95% confidence interval of the difference between the means.
ns., not significant.
Baby swimming 429
© 2009 Blackwell Publishing Ltd, Child: care, health and development,36,3, 428–430
a matched group of coevals without such experience. As pre-
dicted from the fact that the programme targets activities
promoting eye–hand co-ordination and the provision of vesti-
bular stimulation, outcomes converged on abilities associated
with prehension and static balance.
While baby swimming may have rather specific effects in the
motor domain, its potential benefits should also be explored in
other areas of relevance to child development. Examples are
parental attitudes, cardiovascular fitness and physical growth,
and expressions of self-esteem. In fact, it may be possible to
conceive of a testable scenario in which baby swimming exerts
beneficial influences in these respects that in turn promote
successful adjustment to the transition from home to formal
The benefits of aquatic therapy have been extolled with
regard to individuals suffering from asthma (Rosimini 2003)
and autism (Yilmaz et al. 2004), but especially those with
cerebral palsy (Kelly & Darrah 2005). Children with the
latter disability (as well as typically developing during early
childhood) can benefit in two ways from aquatic therapy.
First, the buoyancy provided by water has not only the pot-
ential for facilitating full or partial range of movement, but
also postural control through a reduction in gravitational
effects. Second, the density of water (1 g/cm3)isabout800
times more than that of air, thus serving as a resistive medium
to promote muscle power without excessive loading of the
The present study did not involve random assignment of
individuals to groups. This limitation, together with relatively
small sample sizes and a retrospective design, detracts from the
efficacy of the study. Nevertheless, we contend that it serves as
an encouraging demonstration project as to the potential ben-
efits of baby swimming. Better understanding of baby swim-
ming and its close cousin aquatic therapy can only be achieved
with resort to a greater methodological rigour in future studies
that aspires to Sackett’s (1981) Level I (randomized controlled
trials) or at the very least Level II (non-randomized prospective
control study).
Henderson, S. E. & Sugden, D. (1992) The Movement Assessment
Battery for Children. The Psychological Corporation, Kent, UK.
Hopkins, B. & Westra, T. (1988) Maternal handling and motor
development: an intracultural study. Genetic Social and General
Psychology Monographs,114, 377–408.
Kelly, M. & Darrah, J. (2005) Aquatic exercise for children with
cerebral palsy. Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology,47,
Lagerspetz, K., Nygård, M. & Strandvik, C. (1971) The effects of
training in crawling on the motor and mental development of
infants. Scandinavian Journal of Psychology,12, 192–197.
McGraw, M. B. (1935) Growth: A study of Johnny and Jimmy.
Appleton-Century, New York, NY, USA.
Rosimini, C. (2003) Benefits of swim training for children and
adolescents with asthma. Journal of American Academy of Nurse
Practitioners,15, 247–252.
Sackett, D. L. (1981) How to read clinical journals. V: to distinguish
useful from useless and even harmful surgery. Canadian Medical
Association Journal,124, 1156–1662.
Yilmaz, I., Yanarda, M., Birkan, B. & Bumin, G. (2004) Effects of
swimming training on physical fitness and water orientation in
autism. Pediatrics International,46, 624–626.
Zelazo, P. R., Zelazo, N. A. & Kolb, S. (1972) Walking’ in the
newborn. Science,176, 314–315.
Key messages
Physical exercise facilitates the development of motor skill
Baby swimming programme may have positive effects on
motor skill development
Baby swimming programme targets activities promoting
eye–hand coordination and the provision of vestibular
• Baby swimming may have rather specific effects in the
motor domain, its potential positive benefits should also be
explored in other areas of relevance for child development
430 H. Sigmundsson and B. Hopkins
© 2009 Blackwell Publishing Ltd, Child: care, health and development,36,3, 428–430
... Otro estudio muestra también resultados positivos en el efecto de un programa de intervención acuático de 4 meses y una sesión por semana sobre el desarrollo motor, con un grupo experimental de 12 bebés de 7 a 9 meses al inicio del programa (de S. Dias, de J. Manoel, de M. Dias, & Okazaki, 2013). Pero el debate sigue abierto puesto que otras investigaciones no encuentran datos concluyentes con relación a la mejora del dominio motor en el bebé por efecto de la participación en un programa acuático (Costa et al., 2012;Plimpton, 1986;Sigmundsson & Hopkins, 2010). ...
... Se evaluó en el 1º, 4º y 8º mes de intervención y los resultados muestran que el volumen de práctica influencia significativamente el acceso a las habilidades y que el efecto del programa es específico a la habilidad trabajada. Otro trabajo compara dos grupos de 19 niños a la edad de cuatro años con o sin experiencia previa acuática siendo bebés; los resultados muestran que sólo hubo diferencia en dos de las habilidades acuáticas asociadas sugiriendo el poco impacto que parece tener la intervención acuática previa (Sigmundsson & Hopkins, 2010). ...
... El enfoque propuesto quiere distanciarse de la visión positivista de la mayoría de investigaciones anteriores que tienden a poner el foco de atención sobre comportamientos acuáticos (Erbaugh, 1986;McGraw, 1939;Sigmundsson & Hopkins, 2010) o categorías de comportamientos acuáticos (Plimpton, 1986;Zelazo & Weiss, 2006) apriorísticos. La capacidad de esta categorización de definir la destreza acuática del bebé con relación a la dificultad del medio se orientaría a la noción de competencia acuática de distinta forma, incluso, de la noción desarrollada por otros autores (Langendorfer & Bruya, 1995;Quan et al., 2015) que se basan igualmente en comportamientos acuáticos apriorísticos. ...
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ENG. Based on a sociocultural approach, the article aims to explore the role played by the baby-adult interaction on the acquisition of baby's water motor skills in a baby swimming program. With a direct and intrasubject observation (n = 4) and an ad hoc category system, a quantitative approach research with a quasi-experimental design was designed. The interactions were recorded in video, every two weeks, and during the four months of the aquatic program. The results describe the educational context of the interaction according to the categories, and describe the improvement of the babie's water motor skills. These results allow us to suggest which conditions of the interaction favour the water motor skills learning of the babies.
... Scientific data collected in the past century (McGraw, 1939) as well as in more recent years (Sigmundsson & Hopkins, 2010) have demonstrated health benefits to infants' physical activity in water that range from cardiovascular adaptations (Costa et al., 2016) to motor and social-affective interaction development (Martins et al., 2020). A major focus is on whether early aquatic experiences may reduce the drowning risk (Brenner & Egner, 2008;Pedroso et al., 2012;Taylor et al., 2020) and on what may be the minimum age for initiating aquatic experiences targeted to reduce drowning risk and increase basic aquatic skills proficiency (Langendorfer, 2019). ...
... The same research scarcity applies toward research on the effects of aquatic interventions with infants and toddlers. The few existing baby swimming studies have focused on motor development and learning, without considering cognitive outcomes (Sigmundsson & Hopkins, 2010;Sigmundsson et al., 2017). ...
... With specific regard to the even scarcer data regarding the efficacy of aquatic activities and baby swimming, our findings provide support to the limited evidence base. Sigmundsson and Hopkins (2010) retrospectively showed that four-year-old children who took regular infant swimming lessons had reduced risk of developmental coordination problems, as reflected in their performance on the Movement Assessment Battery for Children test (MABC; Croce et al., 2001), compared to their counterparts without this early swimming experience. Furthermore, Sigmundsson et al. (2017) provided compelling evidence that earlier than normal development of task-specific motor learning (i.e., independent standing) may be promoted by means of targeted baby swimming activities for 3-to 5-month-old infants. ...
Contact with water, even from birth, may be an important experience for child development. In this work, we aimed to investigate if baby swimming might influence infant development in motor and cognitive domains. We assigned infants to either a 10-week baby swimming intervention ( n = 12; M age = 13 months ( SD) = 7) or a control group ( n = 15; M age = 22 months ( SD) = 6). We assessed motor development with the Peabody Developmental Motor Scales (2nd edition, PDMS-2) and cognitive development with core tests of executive functions: delayed response for working memory, object retrieval for inhibition, and A-not-B for response shifting. Non-parametric analyses revealed that infants in the baby-swimming group improved in gross, fine, and total motor skills, and showed marginally better inhibition speed and shifting accuracy, with associated gains of shifting accuracy and fine and total motor skills. Even with in this small-sized convenience sample, this pilot study revealed promising benefits from baby swimming on motor development that warrant further study. This preliminary work paves the way for replication and illustrates what effect sizes may be expected in sufficiently powered well-designed follow-up research targeted to aid the joint development of motor and cognitive skills as early as infancy.
... Sample sizes varied between 16 and 4253 children and the percentage of girls between 23 and 69%. Six studies were conducted in children younger than 12 months [24,25,31,38,43,54], two studies in children between one and 3 years [19,20], and 31 studies in children between three and 5 years [16-18, 21-23, 26-30, 32-37, 39-42, 44-53]. In 46% of the studies, physical activity was assessed using an objective measurement instrument (e.g. by accelerometer or heart [16,24,30,33,36,37,42]. ...
... Eleven studies examined the association between physical activity and motor development outcomes [25, 35-38, 42, 43, 45, 52-54] (See Table 1 and Table S2). Outcome measures included total motor scores (gross motor, fine motor or a combination; n = 7 studies) [25,37,38,43,45,53,54], a specific component of gross or fine motor skills (e.g. ball skills; n = 5 studies) [35,38,[52][53][54] and individual motor skills (e.g. ...
... Outcome measures included total motor scores (gross motor, fine motor or a combination; n = 7 studies) [25,37,38,43,45,53,54], a specific component of gross or fine motor skills (e.g. ball skills; n = 5 studies) [35,38,[52][53][54] and individual motor skills (e.g. jump, n = 8 studies) [25,35,36,38,42,43,53,54]. Ten studies were intervention studies [35-38, 42, 43, 45, 52-54] with a large variety in frequency of implemented physical activity sessions (one session per week to daily), session duration (15 to 60 min per session), study duration (3 weeks to 2 years) and intervention content (e.g. ...
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Background Early childhood is a critical period for growth and development, yet the association with physical activity during this important period is unknown. The aim of this review is to critically summarize the evidence on the prospective associations between physical activity and health and development in children aged < 5 years. Methods A systematic search in three electronic databases (Pubmed, PsycINFO, and Sportdiscus) was conducted to identify prospective studies examining the associations between physical activity (all types; specified by quantity) and health indicators (body composition, cardiometabolic health, bone health and risks/harm) or development (motor, cognitive and social-emotional development) in young children (mean age < 5 years at baseline). Two independent researchers assessed the methodological quality using the ‘Quality Assessment Tool for Quantitative Studies’ (EPHPP). This tool covers eight quality criteria: selection bias, study design, confounders, blinding, data collection methods, withdrawals and drop-outs, intervention integrity and data-analysis. Results Thirty-nine studies, predominantly conducted in preschoolers (ages 3–5 years), were included of which nine were rated as high methodological quality. There was moderate evidence for a positive association between physical activity and motor ( n = 11 studies) and cognitive development ( n = 10 studies) based on consistent findings from studies having low-to-moderate methodological quality. There was insufficient evidence for an association between physical activity and body composition ( n = 15 studies), cardiometabolic health indicators ( n = 7 studies), social-emotional development ( n = 2 studies) and bone health ( n = 2 studies) based on inconsistent findings from studies having weak-to-high methodological quality. Conclusions There is a need for more high-quality research in order to determine the dose-response relationship between physical activity and health and development in early childhood. Special attention should be paid to studies in children below the age of 3 years.
... A finales del siglo XX renació el interés por explicar el desarrollo motor en el medio acuático con distintos trabajos (Blanksby et al., 1995;Erbaugh, 1978Erbaugh, , 1986Parker & Blanksby, 1997;Plimpton, 1986; entre otros) y a principios del siglo XXI prosiguió este interés (Amelia, 2012;Bekendam Blanco, N., Diaz-Urena, G., 2016;Costa et al., 2012;Moura et al., 2021Moura et al., , 2022Sigmundsson & Hopkins, 2009;Staub et al., 2017;Wizer et al., 2015). Este conjunto de estudios tiene en común la voluntad de describir el desarrollo motor del bebé en el agua mediante el estudio de la adquisición de habilidades motrices acuáticas o, incluso, el estudio del aprendizaje de la «natación» en sí misma. ...
... Los resultados obtenidos muestran que, a diferencia de los estudios de evaluación de la competencia acuática que se han ido realizando (p.e. Costa et al., 2012;Parker & Blanksby, 1997;Sigmundsson & Hopkins, 2009;Stallman et al., 2008), es posible atender al desarrollo de la competencia sin necesidad de definir habilidades acuáticas o natatorias definidas con anterioridad al programa. Aspecto que refuerza la idea de la necesidad de diseñar procesos educativos que pongan el foco en favorecer los procesos de interacción entre experto y aprendiz en la actividad conjunta. ...
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Estudio de la evolución de la competencia acuática en bebés participantes en un programa acuático desde un enfoque socioconstructivista Study of the evolution of the aquatic competence in babies participating in an aquatic program from a socio-constructivist approach Resumen. La noción de competencia acuática en la infancia es un enfoque de análisis emergente que demanda de mayor apoyo científico. El presente estudio se enmarca en el ámbito del desarrollo motor y tiene impacto en el área del aprendizaje. Mediante una aproximación cualitativa, descriptiva e intrasujeto; el estudio observa cuatro díadas bebés-adulto (n = 4) durante un programa cuatrimestral de natación para bebés. Para ello se diseña un sistema ad-hoc de categorías de observación del comportamiento motor acuático del bebé y la actividad conjunta de la díada. El sistema de categorías se diseña sin habilidades apriorísticas a observar y de acuerdo con niveles crecientes de dificultad a través de dimensiones: respiración y equilibrio. Los resultados indican que es posible observar la evolución de la competencia y describir su naturaleza social sin observar habilidades. La aproximación del estudio sugiere posibilidades emergentes de análisis de los procesos de aprendizaje y desarrollo motor.
... Although the children in the control group practiced other sports (but not swimming), the results showed no improvement in gross motor skills. This data could confirm that swimming can induce complex adaptations of the nervous system and favor the transmission of neural impulses [45]. Since water density is 800 times greater than air density, exercise in water may increase the muscle strength through a resistive medium without extreme weight-bearing joints [6]. ...
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A variety of aquatic training regimens have been found to be beneficial for individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) in multiple domains. This study investigated and compared the efficacy of two aquatic training regimens (technical vs. game-based) on gross motor skills, stereotypy behavior and emotion regulation in children with ASD. Twenty-two autistic children were randomly assigned into three groups: two experimental groups performed either a technical aquatic program or a game-based aquatic program and a control group. Participants were assessed before and after an 8-week training period, with the Test of Gross Motor Development, the stereotypy subscale of the Gilliam Autism Rating Scale, and the Emotion Regulation Checklist. A significant effect for time was found in gross motor skills and stereotypy behavior in both experimental groups. An improvement in gross motor skills was observed in both experimental groups compared to the control group. A small pre-post change effect in emotion functioning was found in all groups. No significant differences were observed between the experimental groups in all assessed variables. Our findings provide additional evidence suggesting the effectiveness of beneficial effects of aquatic activities on the motor and social skills that underpin the hypothesis that motor and intellectual domains are highly interrelated in autistic children.
Purpose: The benefits of infant swimming must be considered against the risk of adverse occurrences during infant swimming practice. Several research studies have recommended against newborn swimming since there is little data to support its use in preventing drowning in infants. Methodology / Evidence Acquisitionː In the context of the PRISMA guidelines, the researcher did a systematic review and meta-analysis research on infant swimming. From 1950 to 2021, an online database search was conducted using keywords and MeSH terms such as "infant swimming", "safety", "infant swimming lessons", and "infant diving" on healthcare search engines such as PubMed, Google Scholar, BioMed Central, Cochrane Library, ERIC, PILOTS, PsycARTICLES, MEDLINE, AMED, CINAHL, EMBASE, Web of Science, Science Direct, Taylor & Francis, and Med SC. The researcher excluded articles that were first published in a foreign language and did not have an English translation. Findings / Evidence Synthesisː The risk of respiratory tract infection is greater in the control group, 95% confidence interval is 1.95 [1.24, 1.97] (p = 0.000). The difference in risk of atopy is between infant swimmers and the control group is significant, and the risk is greater in the control group compared to swimming infants; 95% confidence interval is 1.36 [1.01, 1.84] (p = 0.000). Conclusions/ Originality Value: Swimming does not raise the risk of infection in infants, nor does it predispose them to asthma. We propose further more research into the benefits of infant swimming in reducing the burden of childhood drowning, which is the leading cause of death in this age group.
Electroencephalography was used to investigate the effects of extrastimulation and preterm birth on the development of visual motion perception during early infancy. Infants receiving extra motor stimulation in the form of baby swimming, a traditionally raised control group, and preterm born infants were presented with an optic flow pattern simulating forward and reversed self‐motion and unstructured random visual motion before and after they achieved self‐produced locomotion. Extrastimulated infants started crawling earlier and displayed significantly shorter N2 latencies in response to visual motion than their full‐term and preterm peers. Preterm infants could not differentiate between visual motion conditions, nor did they significantly decrease their latencies with age and locomotor experience. Differences in induced activities were also observed with desynchronized theta‐band activity in all infants, but with more mature synchronized alpha–beta band activity only in extrastimulated infants after they had become mobile. Compared with the other infants, preterm infants showed more widespread desynchronized oscillatory activities at lower frequencies at the age of 1 year (corrected for prematurity). The overall advanced performance of extrastimulated infants was attributed to their enriched motor stimulation. The poorer responses in the preterm infants could be related to impairment of the dorsal visual stream that is specialized in the processing of visual motion.
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Reduction of drowning deaths is one of the objectives of Latvia's National Development Plan for 2021-2027 as drowning is one of the most common external causes of death in Latvia (Olševska, 2020). Considering the statistical data, it is very important to pay attention to swimming in early childhood and further acquisition of swimming skills in children. When teaching infant floating to parents, it is important to help them learn appropriate infant floating skills so that they can use them safely and confidently in further development of their child (Meredith et al., 2001; Jovanovich, 2002). The aim of this study was to develop parental competence structure in infant floating. The questionnaire survey was conducted from the beginning of September 2017 until the end of October 2017 and organised at different branches of Riga Health Centre LLC: "Ķengarags", "Imanta", "Bolderāja" and "Iļguciems". 33 professionals (swimming and physiotherapy specialists) and 112 parents (who attend to pool and infant floating lessons with their infants) participated in the parental competence assessment survey. The selection and compilation of the questionnaire questions was based on works, opinions and methodological instructions of scientists and authors. The results obtained in the experiment were processed using the STATISTICS add-in for MS EXCEL developed by J. Dravnieks, Professor of the Latvian Academy of Sport Education (Dravnieks, 2004), and the IBM SPSS mathematical statistics software where several statistical analysis solutions were used (IBM, 2020). According to the multiple linear regression for the specialist survey results, it was concluded that, according to specialists, the parental competence skills component is equally related to both the practical skills and knowledge components, while the knowledge component has a slightly smaller impact on the skills component. It was also concluded that, according to specialists, the parents' knowledge about infant floating must be higher than their practical skills to be able to achieve a similarly high level of competence skills in infant floating. Based on the parents' opinion, a trend like that is observed in specialists: the parents' knowledge about infant floating must be higher than the practical skills to achieve a similarly high level of skills in infant floating.
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In motor skill learning, the influence of instruction on the outcome has been widely studied, but little attention has been paid to the content of the message. In aquatic skills teaching processes, spatial features are commonly emphasized, whereas other aspects such as rhythmic structure are left aside, even though rhythmic structure is known to be a feature that distinguishes one motor skill from the other, and crucial for effective performance. Rhythm is an overall organizing principle that is structured in three levels: pulse, meter and rhythmic variation. It is intuitively communicated and connects individuals and groups through several perceptive channels, but its potential in teaching has not yet been explored. This study investigates the effects of visual and auditory instructions that depict different meters on learning the breaststroke kick, and looks into correlations with other factors like previous experience and instruction access frequency. The sample consisted of 52 college students, divided into four groups, each of which received group specific instruction: auditory or visual, depicting either the typical or an alternative meter. Participants were further grouped according to their previous experience with rhythmic activities (i.e. dancing, gymnastics, playing music), swimming lessons and/or playing in water during childhood, which were assessed by a yes/no questionnaire. The breaststroke kick learning process was determined using three outcome measures: stroke index, rhythmic configuration index and spatial configuration index. All participants performed 400 trials of the breaststroke kick in prone position during the acquisition phase over two days, plus 50 retention trials and 50 transfer trials on a third day, the latter in supine position. Before each set of ten trials, participants were allowed to access their group specific instruction. The outcome measures were evaluated based on video recordings of the trials and submitted to descriptive, variance and effect size analysis. All participants increased their stroke index and spatial configuration index, but not their rhythmic configuration index, although both indices were highly correlated during the whole learning process. The typical meter instruction groups outperformed the alternative meter instruction groups in the retention test as measured by stroke index in (p=0,075; r=0,258), and in the transfer test as measured by spatial configuration index (p=0,045, r=0,289). No difference was 10 found between auditory and visual instruction or relating to the instruction access frequencies. Participants who reported childhood play in water showed better stroke indices (p=0,035; r=0,541) than other experience groups, whereas swimming lesson experience hampered learning. Experience in rhythmic activities did not correlate with outcome differences. This puts into perspective the role of instruction in aquatic skills learning, and stresses the impact of previous perceptive-motor experience. In a combined consideration, our results show that information about the typical metric structure helps to learn the breaststroke kick and suggest that under certain circumstances auditory instruction may improve learning more than visual instruction. Emphasizing the spatial configuration of the skill, as is common practice in aquatic skill teaching, does not promote the learning process; instead, the rhythmic configuration deserves more attention. Furthermore, teaching should go beyond merely transmitting predetermined motor patterns and instead focus on fostering diverse perceptual-motor experiences.
This study aim was to determine whether a structured age-appropriate playing programme with involvement of parents could promote healthy motor skills in preschool children. In this two group randomization pre-posttest quasi-experimental study, 160 children 3–5 years-old with their mothers were selected and equally allocated in two groups. For intervention group, four theoretical and 20 practical sessions in five groups of 6–8 participants, consisting of mothers and children of the same age, was conducted. After intervention, the gross and fine motor skills of intervention group were promoted (p < 0.05). The study results provide positive evidence about creating opportunities to practice of age-appropriate play in childhood, especially with parental engagement and support, on motor development.
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Brief daily exercise of the walking and placing reflexes in the newborn leads to a high rate of responding by 8 weeks and to an earlier onset of walking alone. There appears to be a critical period during which the walking response can be transformed intac from a reflexive to an instrumental action.
LAGERSPETZ, K., NYGÅHD, M. & STRANDVIK, C. The effects of training in crawling on the motor and mental development of infants. Scand. J. Psychol., 1971 12, 192–197.–Eleven infants under the age of 1 year were trained in creeping for 15 minutes daily for 3 weeks, while 11 children, who served as controls, spent the corresponding times with the experimenters without training. The experimental group learned to creep significantly earlier, and transfer effects on other locomotor development were observed. Even effects on factors other than motor developmental were obtained. A training experiment with a pair of monozygotic twins is also reported.
Citing a distinction between informal and formal routines used by mothers in handling their infants, we examined formal handling routines, in which the caregiver acts in a pedagogical manner; these routines are widespread in many non-Western countries. We hypothesised that formal handling serves to facilitate gross motor development during early infancy. To examine this hypothesis, the effects of a Jamaican formal handling routine on a broad range of developmental outcomes was examined. Results showed that the effects were specific to early gross motor development and in particular to postural control along the vertical axis of the body. Information is also provided on other aspects of Jamaican child care. It seems that the handling routine forms part of a folk (developmental) medicine system and may serve not only to promote child health but also as a sort of developmental neurological examination.
To review scientific evidence related to the benefits of swimming and present an evidence-based approach to prescribing swim training for children and adolescents with asthma. Extensive literature review of all research that has been done on swim training in asthmatic children and adolescents, using the databases CINAHL, Medline, and ProQuest. When swimming is compared to other sports in the scientific literature, it has been found to have a lower asthmogenicity. It has also been shown to decrease the severity of asthma symptoms. Swimming may be an effective nonpharmacological intervention for the child or adolescent with asthma. Research findings are summarized regarding the benefits of swim training on children and adolescents with asthma, and a stepped three-level approach to swim prescription is outlined along with safety recommendations.
Exercise for children with cerebral palsy (CP) is gaining popularity among pediatric physical therapists as an intervention choice. Exercise in water appeals to children with CP because of the unique quality of buoyancy of water that reduces joint loading and impact, and decreases the negative influences of poor balance and poor postural control. In this paper, research of land-based exercise and aquatic exercise for children with CP is reviewed. Clinically relevant considerations for aquatic exercise programming for children with CP are discussed.
The Movement Assessment Battery for Children. The Psychological Corporation Maternal handling and motor development: an intracultural study
  • S E Henderson
  • D Sugden
Henderson, S. E. & Sugden, D. (1992) The Movement Assessment Battery for Children. The Psychological Corporation, Kent, UK. Hopkins, B. & Westra, T. (1988) Maternal handling and motor development: an intracultural study. Genetic Social and General Psychology Monographs, 114, 377–408.
How to read clinical journals. V: to distinguish useful from useless and even harmful surgery
  • Sackett
Sackett, D. L. (1981) How to read clinical journals. V: to distinguish useful from useless and even harmful surgery. Canadian Medical Association Journal, 124, 1156-1662.