Winter isn’t just a good time to have your little swimmer swimming, it’s the perfect time!
- It keeps them exercising (out of the cold) during the winter months.
- It strengthens the immune system, so children may be less likely to fall ill.
- It keeps the repetition of skills going so that they don’t have to get back into their groove when spring arrives. Having a break often results in a learning plateau of previously established skills.
- Continuous participation builds strong foundations for a life time of enjoyment in the water.
- It provides children with a healthy schedule. As parents we all know the importance of keeping children in a routine to assist with development milestones.
Even with these benefits, some still believe that winter time swimming is not a good practice. Here are some facts to dispute the myths that support these beliefs.
Cold weather causes colds
Supporting Fact #1:
Colds are caused by viruses and not temperature. Being cosy indoors with heated recycled air and a room full of people puts you more at risk of catching a cold. In order for a person to catch a cold, a person must be exposed to a virus. Viruses are passed from person to person, and can live on many surfaces such as door handles, IPADs etc. Swimming lessons are conducted in pool water which is heated to a toasty 32 degrees. The real fact is that swimming keeps the child physically fit. Physical fitness supports immune health. Swimming children are less likely to pick up bugs than children who are not engaged in exercise.
Swimming during winter causes ear infections
Supporting Fact #2:
Similar to colds, middle ear infections are not caused by cold and wet conditions. Ear infections are caused by viruses or bacteria. Typically, ear infections occur when an individual has an infectious cold that causes swelling and restricts the draining of the Eustachian Tube fluid from naturally draining through the nose and throat. Swimmers ear, a more easily treated condition, is an infection of the ear canal associated with water, but this condition is not more likely to happen in the winter months.
My child will progress just as fast as children who swim all year round
Supporting Fact #3:
Swimmers who participate in lessons throughout the entire year will have a better chance at progressing faster than those who take a break. Having a break between terms does not allow previous skills to be practiced and therefore can take longer for your child to master the required swimming skills to progress to the standard they may have been at when swimming throughout the term.
We find that this is very important for preschool age classes, as children are adapting to a structured environment and at times may be transitioning away from the parent for the first time.
Keeping children healthy through winter
Below are a few actions parents can take to keep their children healthy through winter.
- Teach proper hand washing.
- Teach correct sneezing and coughing practices to avoid the spread of viruses.
- Disinfect commonly handled items IPADS, toys, and door handles.
- Encourage moderate physical activity, such as swim lessons, and healthy eating to boost their immune system.
- Dress children appropriately to the weather conditions.
- After swimming lessons, ensure children have a warm shower and dry off excess water from their hair. Remember to pack warm clothes, including a beanie.