With the cooler weather settling in, there’s always the temptation to trade your togs for a tracksuit. While the thought of taking the plunge during the colder months can be daunting, hitting pause on the pool also means hitting pause on water safety. The harsh reality is – drownings don’t discriminate between seasons, and teaching your kids about water safety is all about consistency. In this article, we break down the top 5 winter myths we hear from parents.
Myth 1: My child only needs to know swim safety in the summer
According to Royal Life Saving, between 2017 and 2018, there were 249 drowning deaths in aquatic locations across Australia. These occurred all year round in all sorts of waterways. Chatting to parents at our swim school, we come across a common misconception that drownings happen during summer at the beach. Drownings don’t just happen at the beach; they occur in your backyard pool, in the bath or by accidentally falling into a lake, river or waterway. As a country surrounded by sea, with a water sports obsession, learning water safety is crucial.
Being water-wise is about understanding all the risks and arming yourself and your kids with the skills you need to keep safe whilst swimming in all water environments. Taking your kids to year-round swimming lessons builds on their skills to develop confident, capable and happy swimmers.
Myth 2: Cold weather causes colds
Taking a dip in icy water can make you cold, but it won’t give you a cold. Colds are caused by viruses, not temperature. So regardless of whether the water is 2 degrees or 22 degrees, the water won’t give you a cold. While swimming in sub-10 degrees can make your hands and feet numb, luckily for us, our indoor pools are heated up to 32 degrees all year round, which makes lessons comfy for kids to swim in. Our centres are also indoors and heated, making it cosy for our parents to also enjoy as they watch their little ones in class.
Much like bears, humans tend to slow down and hibernate during winter. With the cold comes a more sedentary season. Swimming lessons in our warm pools during Winter will help keep your kids healthy and active, as well as build their immunity, which will help keep those nasty colds away.
Myth 3: Wet conditions cause ear infections
Much like colds, ear infections are caused by viruses and bacteria – not pools. Because babies and young children have smaller eustachian tubes, they tend to get more ear infections. These aren’t caused by wet conditions but are usually the result of a cold which has travelled up into the middle ear. When water gets trapped in the ear canal, it can lead to an easily treated condition called “Swimmers Ear.” Swimmers Ear can occur in all seasons, not just winter. If your child is prone to this condition, there are a range of barriers such as earplugs, ear bands and swim caps that can help keep their ears dry and clean whilst they continue swimming in our classes.
Myth 4: My child will pick it back up in the summer
From our experience, the process of learning to swim does not have a ‘finish,’ and the key to keeping your child safe in the water is consistency. By learning and developing skills every week, your child will build a foundation that will last a lifetime. We often find kids who hit pause during winter will regress and will lose confidence. Consistency and routine build momentum, and when kids lose this, they often lose their confidence and interest too.
To instil a lifelong love of swimming and give your kids the experience they need to be water-wise, sticking to lessons in all seasons is paramount.
Myth 5: Swimming is a summer sport
Swimming is a year-round sport. As a low impact activity, swimming complements other sports and can help build endurance, fitness and flexibility. For active kids that play soccer, football or basketball, swimming can help ease sore muscles and can help keep arm and leg extensions strong.
As safety doesn’t have a season, the best way to become a strong and confident swimmer is to jump in and keep your child swimming through the colder months. As all our centres are indoors and our pools are heated to 32 degrees, don’t have your child miss out on all of these benefits due to these misconceptions.
To keep your kids active during the winter months and build safe and happy swimmers, book your next lesson with us today and keep on swimming! Get in touch.