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Kansas City-area infant swim lessons can help youngsters with cognitive development

Cognitive development starts as soon as babies are born. It all has to do with how children learn to process information, develop language and establish memory. Because learning to swim encompasses all of those skills, some research suggests that swimming lessons could have benefits that go beyond the pool.

"It's a very stimulating experience," said Dr. Rochelle Harris, a psychologist specializing in developmental and behavior sciences. "There's an incredible amount of development that goes on from a neuromuscular perspective in the infant years."

She said everything about swimming - the interaction between caretaker and child, the repetition of movement and exposure to new things - can help with cognitive development in infants and toddlers.

"It involves a lot of one-to-one parent time and the ingredients in that are wonderful for kids," explained the Children's Mercy psychologist. "A lot of that interaction and that touch and all of the positive things that provides enhance cognitive development."

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