Survey: A majority of parents want their kids to power off and dive in

JONESBORO,AR (KAIT)-  As the school year comes to an end the summer activities begin. A recent study finds a large majority of parents are worried that electronic devices are interfering with traditional family activities, including swimming and can lead to potential negative health and social problems.

According to the new Mason-Dixon survey conducted on behalf of the Water Quality and Health Council, researchers found 93% of parents are concerned that children are suffering negative health consequences by not engaging in family activities like swimming.

For many students, today is the last day of school whichmarks the unofficial beginning of summer and summer activities. A recent surveyshow a majority of parents  are worried theirchildren spend too much time on electronic devices and not enough time outside  or in the pool. Veronica Smith spoke to aswim instructor about the health and social benefits of swimming. She joins usnow with more. Veronica?

"It's a great cardiovascular exercise for anyone involved," said Nikki Shannon, aquatic coordinator with St. Bernards Health and Wellness Institute.

Shannon said there are a wide range of benefits to swimming.

"For children it also provides them with a great sense ofaccomplishment as they progress in their skills," she said.

"It also benefits them socially interacting with kids. It'sa good way for kids to come together and have fun together," said swim instructor, Anna Ridge.

Parents are worried that a lack of outdoor activities can lead to negative healthconsequence.

"This summer we have a performance swim camp for kids andadults. It's basically a technique swim camp so if you're already a swimmer,this is a great opportunity for you to come in and perfect those strokes," Shannon said.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,swimming increases strength and flexibly. It also helps develop motor skills, managingweight and asthma symptoms. Swimming can improve a child's overall mood andhelp combat depression.

Swimming not only has health benefits but it's also a goodskill to have in case of an emergency. Ridge says sheteaches several lessons on a daily basis.

"If they fall in, they're going to know immediately what todo, so that's a benefit of swimming," she said.

"Swimming is good for anyone because it's a low impact sportfor children they need to learn to swim because it's a life skill," said Ridge.

Ridge has a message for parents who might be worried about their childlearning to swim.

"Remain calm, we got your kids in our hands and we're notgoing to let anything happen to them," she said.

Along with the performance swim camp that starts June 3rd, the St. Bernards Health and Wellness Institute will also offer an outdoor camp for kids.

Copyright 2012 KAIT. All rights reserved.