Eager parents are asking, "When can my baby swim in the pool?"
Want to know how to safely take your newborn baby to a pool? How soon can you introduce your baby to the pool?
First things first! Before going swimming with your child, there are some things you need to prepare and consider. Read on to learn about the potential water hazards and the best ways to keep your baby safe while having fun.
When Can a Baby Swim in the Pool
Most doctors recommend waiting until your baby is at least 6 months old before swimming with your baby. This is due to the chemical content and risks associated with most swimming pools.
If your baby is less than 6 months old, avoid taking him to a large public pool as the water is too cold. Before putting your baby in, make sure the water temperature is at least 32 ° C.
Effects of Chlorine on Baby
Many chemicals are used to eliminate bacteria in the pool. Bacteria and algae can grow in the pool if the water level is not properly controlled.
The chlorine present in the pool is harmless to the baby. In fact, it's important to know that treated water is healthier than microbial-prone water such as a lake or seawater!
However, be careful not to overexpose your baby to the harmful effects of chlorine. According to a 2011 study, exposure to chlorine used in pools during infancy may increase the risk of bronchiolitis.
Children who spent more than 20 hours in the pool during infancy were at greater risk because they were more likely to develop asthma and respiratory allergies later in childhood.
This raises concerns about the safety of baby swimming, but further research is needed to confirm the link. Saltwater pools have lower levels of chlorine than traditional pools, but they are not free of chemicals. The water in the salt pool is gentle on the baby's sensitive skin, but other risk factors and safety guidelines apply.
How to Swim With a Baby
Make sure you are always within reach of your baby, regardless of the depth of the water.
Start with 10 minutes in the water and continue for 10 minutes outside. If the temperature is appropriate, work slowly in water for up to 20 minutes.
For babies under 1-year-old, limit the time spent in water to a maximum of 30 minutes.
You can keep your baby warm by putting them in the water up to your shoulders. Keep your baby moving in the water and gently rock it near your body. As your baby grows older, you can stretch your arms.
The baby's gag reflex is usually strongest by the age of 6 months. In other words, holding his or her breath in the water is involuntary.
Do not intentionally submerge your baby in the water. However, be aware that your baby has this ability even if their head accidentally sinks in the water.
As soon as your baby begins to quiver, remove him from the water and wrap him in a warm towel. Babies lose temperature much faster than adults, so if it's a little cold, take your baby out immediately.
You may talk to your doctor about skin problems before entering the pool. Be sure to rinse off the chlorine water and then apply a baby-friendly moisturiser to avoid dryness and irritation.
Pool Safety Tips for Parents
If you're planning on taking baby swimming soon, here are some reminders:
One second of carelessness is sufficient for a catastrophe. More than ever, you need to constantly monitor your baby not only for his safety but also for his well-being. Knowing that you are there and attentive will give your baby confidence.
Practice Touch Supervision.
Stay within arm’s length of your child whenever they are around water.
Consider the temperature.
Image from Shutterstock
Babies cannot regulate body temperature like adults do. In fact, they can lose heat four times faster than adults. And, when water evaporates from wet skin, it can lose heat even faster. So, when you take a dip, first check the water temperature and make sure you have a towel nearby.
Avoid the baby getting cold.
To avoid the risk of hypothermia (goosebumps, shivering, bluish lips, etc.), it is important to keep your baby warm from the moment you take a bath until the moment you leave.
Therefore, as mentioned above, be sure to immerse your baby in water above 32 ° C.
Limit the bathing time to 10 minutes, and always carry a bathing cloak or hooded bathrobe to wrap your baby immediately after giving a bath.
Do not leave your baby in the pool water for more than 10 minutes.
As soon as you get out, wrap your baby in a warm blanket or towel. Infants under 12 months should not stay in the pool for more than 30 minutes at a time.
Install 4-foot fences with child-resistance gate locks on all four sides of the pool (including inflatable pools).
Do not let your child venture near the water by leaving the pool toys outside.
If your baby has diarrhoea, do not allow your baby to swim.
Always use the appropriate swim diaper for infants who have not yet received potty training.
Do not take your baby to the pool if the drain cover is damaged or lost.
Please do a safety check before entering the pool.
After swimming, rinse your baby with clean water to prevent skin irritation and infection.
Think about sun protection.
Bring suitable sunscreen. Children need to be protected from the sun and UV rays. both in and out of the water! Bring sunglasses, an umbrella and a hat.
Feed the baby a little before and after the bath. Eating before bathing does not bring discomfort.
Be prepared for emergencies.
Parents must learn CPR or cardiopulmonary resuscitation for emergencies. Enrol your baby in swimming lessons as soon as your child feels ready for development.
Avoid swimming during a storm.
Take care of your baby's health.
If your child has had a cold, flu, or upset stomach 48 hours before swimming, abort mission and plan your swimming trip when the baby is feeling much better.
This may seem like an overwhelming precaution, but by following the guidelines and tips above, you can keep your baby safe while enjoying warm weather and poolside fun.
Waiting for your baby to reach six months old is much safer for your baby's developing immune system. In the meantime, you can enjoy a warm bath with your little one!
Image source: iStock
This article was written by Matt Doctor and republished with permission from theAsianparent Philippines.
Here at theAsianparent Singapore, it's important for us to give information that is correct, significant, and timely. But this doesn't serve as an alternative for medical advice or medical treatment. theAsianparent Singapore is not responsible for those that would choose to drink medicines based on information from our website. If you have any doubts, we recommend consulting your doctor for clearer information.