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Winter Swimming - Is winter the ideal time for children to learn to swim?

Many may not agree with me, but stopping a child from swimming just because winter has arrived, after it has learned to breathe properly, stay afloat, and enjoy the water during the summer, is a mistake from the start. There is an unwritten rule that parents often restrict swimming to the summer months and prohibit it during the winter. I am aware that not all children have the appropriate conditions to swim and enjoy it during the winter. It's true that the water is colder, the air is sharper, and children's noses and throats are more sensitive during the winter. However, it's not true that if children skip swimming in winter, they will avoid seasonal colds. Swimming is not a seasonal activity. Excuses and parental concerns are always present. That's okay. But it's up to us whether we turn swimming into a winter joy for our children or a perpetual fear.

Why are we afraid of children swimming in winter? Why is it desirable for children to swim in winter? Why is swimming not a seasonal activity? What are the benefits of winter swimming for children and the whole family? How long can children stay in cold water in winter? What is the optimal water temperature in the pool to prevent my child from getting too cold? Is winter the ideal time for children to learn to swim? How can children be warmed up after winter swimming? These are just some of the dilemmas and questions often heard from parents around the pool.

Swimming is a life skill, and the benefits it brings, regardless of the season, are essential for every child every day of the year.

Why is it good for children to swim in winter?

Because swimming, even in the cold, can warm up children, activate all their muscle groups, and divert them from winter gloom. Swimming during the winter also improves children's appetite, provides them with restful sleep, and allows parents to have a relaxed day. Swimming is an excellent way to socialize, even on the coldest days.

Swimming in winter keeps children active and diverts them from the winter blues. Swimming in winter strengthens swimming and safety skills for every child. Children are safer while playing in the world's largest "playground" – water, not only in summer but also in winter. Swimming enhances children's immunity in winter as well. Swimming is always a great way to make friends and build new friendships. These are just some of the reasons to jump into the pool with your children in winter and swim.

In winter, swimming is a remedy for children and the entire family!

Swimming is a remedy for both children and the entire family, whether in summer or winter.

Children who swim regularly during the winter develop immunity for their head, heart, and body... Water is there for everyone, without restrictions on general health, both in summer and winter. With swimming, every heart is stronger, the soul is softer, injuries are milder, pain is gentler, movement is more secure, lungs are stronger, and blood sugar is healthier. Yes, swimming, even in winter, affects the entire body of every child preventively.

Swimming can be a remedy in winter!

Swimming as prevention in winter, YES. Swimming as a remedy in winter, YES. Swimming as part of therapy in winter, YES. Swimming as part of rehabilitation in winter, YES. Swimming as a lifestyle in summer and winter, YES. Swimming as a family activity in summer and winter, YES. Swimming as a good habit in winter, YES. Swimming as a daily dose of energy in winter, YES.

Swimming in winter strengthens immunity!

Immunity is not acquired partially according to the seasons or weather conditions; it is acquired continuously from spring to winter. The same goes for swimming. Swimming is a preventive measure in winter, as a remedy, as part of therapy, or part of rehabilitation during the coldest months of the year.

With five years after surgery, the only thing he could do was move in the water. At that time, there was no swimming pool where he lived. It was not difficult for his mom to sit in the car several times a week and drive 36 kilometers for 45 minutes in one direction to allow her son to swim. Since then, he has never stopped swimming and conquering the world, regardless of whether it's summer or winter.

What does swimming in winter offer to children?

Swimming in winter has a special role in the development of every boy and girl. When swimming is combined with skiing, sledding, and winter magic, an additional activity is created that connects parents and children. This strengthens the "heart" of the family, and such experiences are invaluable for growing up.

Swimming in winter provides children with experiences and new skills.

It boosts children's self-confidence in the water and around it.

It also makes the family more carefree and safer.

Is winter the ideal time for children to learn to swim?

I'm in the water both in summer and winter, as is my whole family because swimming is not a seasonal adventure.

My children have been in the pool since they were four months old. Our little shark, Jakov, had his first encounter with swimming during the summer, while little fish, Petra, got to know swimming in the midst of winter.

Did their noses run after swimming during the winter? Yes, it happened.

Did they cough after swimming in winter? Yes, sometimes they did.

Did they catch a cold? Yes, they did.

Did they stop swimming in winter because of that? No.

Do they swim in winter today? Yes.

We always find a pool with warmer water where they can enjoy themselves. Although there have been cases where the water was colder than the standard. Yes, they swam even then. Why? Because swimming is a life skill that enriches children. They love spending time playing in the water. Secondly, you never know when a child might fall into the water, whether it's winter or summer. Safety is paramount in and around the water!

From my decades of experience, I can tell you that many children, non-swimmers and swimmers from a young age, travel two or three times a week for more than 100 kilometers in one direction to swim. It may sound crazy, especially if the weather is cold. No, I'm not talking about parents and children who are Olympic swimmers today or aspire to be when swimming is mentioned. I'm talking about families who have realized that swimming is a life skill that children need not only during the summer but throughout the year – all 365 days.

Later, when they become independent, these children still swim easily, both in the water and in life. Distance and the season are never barriers to them getting to the pool and swimming. Whether they persevere is another story, but it's up to us parents to introduce them to the path of swimming in both summer and winter.

How long can children stay in cold water in winter?

As children grow, progress, and develop swimming skills, they become less susceptible to the cold. Therefore, the length of lessons and training is adjusted to the child's age and swimming level. For beginners, active 30 minutes are quite sufficient, sometimes even less. For serious swimmers, pool training can last up to 90 minutes, and they work up a good sweat!

In any case, regardless of age and readiness for swimming, it is essential to monitor the child's reactions in the water. If a child starts shaking and their lips turn blue even after 10 minutes, or if their hands, feet, and fingers shrivel up significantly, it is high time to take them out of the water and warm them up. Of course, children playing in the pool don't have boundaries and don't know when to stop until they really start shaking. That's why you're there to react in time.

Whether it's winter or summer, entering cold water should always be gradual. Swimming in the water warms you up, regardless of the season. You always swim for as long as it is comfortable for your body. Whether it's an adult or a child, do not push your endurance to the limit and allow your mouth to become numb.

What is the optimal water temperature in the pool to keep my child from getting too cold?

People often make mistakes when comparing the water temperature in Olympic-sized, larger poolsintended for swimmers who enter the pool and swim without much stopping, complete their training, and go home. In such pools, the water temperature typically ranges from 26 to 27.5 degrees Celsius, which is quite suitable for their purpose. However, sometimes even this water and air temperature is not maintained. In some Olympic-sized pools or larger facilities where water and air heating is often a luxury, the minimum conditions for swimming lessons are maintained. That's why children often feel cold. On the other hand, groups of beginner non-swimmers are large, and children spend more time by the pool than in the water while waiting their turn.

Smaller pools intended for beginners and warmer water: When teaching swimming and instructing younger children to swim, if you have the opportunity, it's necessary to choose smaller pools with warmer water for both water and air temperatures. Beginners in swimming are not as active in the pool initially. They stand more in the water or by the pool, so it's necessary for the water in the pool to be around 30°C. It is possible to maintain a constant temperature in smaller pools where kids can enjoy the water, swimming, and they want to come back next time.

Because of the cold pool water, most parents decide to wait for warmer days or for their children to grow up and toughen up before they start swimming. Postponing swimming is not a solution.

How to warm up children after winter swimming?

After winter swimming, it is usually recommended to have a warm beverage to heat the body, primarily tea. If it's ginger or herbal tea, it's even better for overall body recovery. It's true that wearing a cap keeps the head warm, even after swimming in winter. Nearly 30% of our body heat is lost through our head, especially our ears. Therefore, ears should always be covered when going from a warm to a cold environment. A sauna should never be used to heat the body after winter swimming, as the body is already sufficiently warmed, and afterward, you will go out into sub-zero temperatures, which is a shock for your body. Saunas are especially not recommended for children.

What's most important is that, after enjoying swimming in winter, children and adults should acclimatize their bodies and warm up before going out into the cold air. So, sit down, have some tea, and enjoy with your loved ones to make the experience complete.

Why swimming Isn't a seasonal activity?

Let's take a look at this from a different perspective. Where will your child be in terms of their swimming ability next summer? Think about it. If you take a break and discontinue their current lessons, you might lose several months or maybe half a year in terms of their progress and skills. When summer arrives and your child is exposed to pools, water parks, lakes, and beaches, they won't be nearly as confident and skilled on their swimming journey as they could have been.

That's why I recommend year-round swimming lessons. Even if it's just once a week for 30 minutes, it allows children to continue building on what they've learned. This way, they gain confidence and become safer in and around the water.

By providing your children with a fun and active escape during the cold winter months, such as swimming in a safe aquatic environment, you can rest assured that you'll have better, safer, and more skilled swimmers next summer. In the meantime, they will remain active and proud of their achievements.

Later, when they become independent, these children will continue to swim with ease, both in the water and in life. Distance and the time of year are never a barrier for them to reach the pool, open waters, and swim. Whether they persevere is another story, but it's up to us parents to introduce them to the path of swimming, offer support, and encourage them.

Swimming During Winter – 5 "Cool" Reasons

There is a common misconception that swimming in winter is not advisable because it's cold, and kids will get sick.

As long as the water is warm, and you dress appropriately, there's no reason why your family can't enjoy the pool throughout the year. All you need is the willingness to swim and a swimsuit. You will find suitable pools for your child and the whole family more easily that way. Thanks to numerous sports centers, spas, and hotels with heated pools, it's feasible today. I know it's not just around the corner, but it's worth getting out of your comfort zone and swimming in winter.

Swimming is a life skill that your child needs all 365 days of the year, both in summer and in winter. When we realize that swimming is not a seasonal activity, our children will be much healthier, safer, more agile, physically and mentally adept.

  1. Weekend Adventure for the Whole Family in Winter

  2. Relaxation for All – A Little "Me Time" for Mom and Dad

  3. Swimming in Winter Revives Body and Soul

  4. Children Sleep Better

  5. Strengthening the Immune System

Even though winter may be cold and gray, you can still swim!

It's up to all of us to inspire our children and support them, both on land and in the water, fostering curiosity and acceptance. The content that emerges from swimming all 365 days of the year leaves a mark not only on them but also on us.

Believe me, winter is beautiful even with a view from the pool!

So, don't hesitate - head to the pool.


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