Breathing and orientation underwater in swimming pool: Effects of age, practice, and duration of an aquatic stimulation program in babies and infants

  • Eduarda Veloso Faculdade de Motricidade Humana, Cruz Quebrada, Portugal
  • João Barreiros Faculdade de Motricidade Humana, Cruz Quebrada, Portugal - jbarreiros@fmh.utl.pt
  • Carlos Santos Faculdade de Motricidade Humana, Cruz Quebrada, Portugal
Keywords: baby, infant, aquatic environment, stimulation, maturation, Breathing control, underwater

Abstract

Nowadays there are not many investigation results about infant and baby's motor behavior in the aquatic environment. The present study seeks to describe it before the 40 months of age and to examine the relationship between the motor acquisitions and the chronological age, time of practice and program duration. A system of categories and sub-categories of baby's motor behavior was developed for two dimensions: breathing control and underwater orientation. This system was validated with obtained values of 96% of objectivity and 100% of consistency. Then, 101 babies and infants were evaluated between 3 and 40 months of age, some of them in different moments, in a total of 216 observations (N=216). Breathing control and underwater orientation skills were strongly correlated with chronological age, time of practice and program duration. All the correlations were positive with 0.75-0.86% and significant (Ïâ‰-0.01), meaning that as age, time of practice or program duration increases, the breathing control and underwater orientation skills showed clear improvement. Chronological ages for developmental steps in aquatic environment were identified. Results are discussed within a maturation-stimulation theoretical framework. The evaluation tool that was proposed and validated is ready for use and can be applied in other research settings.

Section
Research Articles