Can swimming make you smarter?

Published: Nov. 1, 2013 at 8:53 AM EDT|Updated: Nov. 1, 2013 at 11:34 AM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Pools are a child's playground.

Usually swimming is the lesson kids are learning while in the water.

But researchers out of Australia say there are other benefits with the simple strokes kids are getting smarter and YMCA aquatics instructor Saunte Bruton agrees.

"It teaches them another way of dealing with being afraid of things and it also teaches them the concept of actually doing more than one thing at a time," said Bruton.

A four-year study reveals he younger children start swimming to the smarter pool of talent when it comes to intellectual and social skills.

"We've just seen some improvement in general, the sleep patter, the attention span; it's just gotten so much better," said parent Lisa Pugh.

Clayton and Lauren have been in lessons for the past three years. Their mom knows not everyone will go on to become an Olympic swimmer. But Lisa Pugh says the sport has made her kids champions.

"He's exceptionally confident in the water but even across his entire personality," said Pugh.

Clayton's sister Lauren is only six years old and already she's circling laps like a professional.

"Her stroke just clicked into being this thing that it's almost like she's just dancing in the water," said Pugh.

And while swimming does have mental benefits coaches say taking lessons is a no brainer.

"Fun, conditioning and it also provides them with a safe way of knowing, 'I can be in the water,'" said Bruton.

Last year, there were there were 137 child drowning deaths in the United States. Of those deaths 100 were toddlers ages 1-4, making drowning the leading cause of unintentional death for children in this age group.

Experts say that statistic alone is a reason enough to teach your children how to swim.

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