Should my baby swim in winter?
lauraf > 7 June 2017
Swimming RegressionYou have spent a whole 2 terms at swimming lessons with your baby and then you have to stop because of winter. After the winter season passes, you might find that your baby has forgotten most if not all of the things they were learning previously. Fear also can creep back with water unfamiliarity. If your baby or toddler struggled with water fear, taking a few months off swimming lessons will set you back. Practice is also key in any skill and of course without practice you cannot progress.
Immune system and the coldBut what about the weather? You do not want your baby getting sick. According to Under 5's "Residual surface water needs warmth in order to evaporate. Unless the warmth is supplied by an outside agent such as a blow-dryer or warm air, it will use your child's body warmth for evaporation. A continual reduction in your child's body temperature challenges their immune system. If their immune system is already stressed, then the extra challenge of wet hair or standing with a wet body in a draught may cause a breakdown in resistance. This can allow cold and flu viruses to take hold. Your child's health is based on the strength of their immune system, not the amount of stress encountered." Therefore, your child's health determines if they will be fine swimming in winter. If babies have the right constitution, swimming in winter is fine.
How to keep them warm?You will of course want to keep your little one toasty warm outside of the pool as well as inside. Here are a few pointers to consider
- a heated swimming pool will be best
- long sleeved and long legged swimwear can help
- a nice toasty warm towel that you can get them dry with quickly
- easy to remove swimwear (ones with clips are great as you can quickly whip them off with no fuss)
- dry their hair with a hair dryer after swimming
- keep their head warm to and from the pool with a hat