Thanks to Dr. Sharon Wiener, primary pediatrician at Pediatric Offices At Willow Bend in Plano, Texas, for providing a collection of the most commonly asked questions related to children and swimming. This information is not intended to diagnose or treat a condition, but serves as informational material to keep parents/guardians informed.
Q: Is my baby too young to swim?
A: A baby 6 to 9 months can swim, but this should be at the discretion of the parent and only with strict adult supervision. This may help your baby avoid fear, and teach them to trust and enjoy the water.
Q: What are symptoms of dry drowning?
A: Dry drowning is water damage to lung tissue several hours after submersion. It is due to aspiration of water and is characterized by choking or coughing, wheezing or breathing difficulty. Incidents of dry drowning are rare, but parents should be aware of the potential condition and monitor accordingly.
Q: Will my child get sick if we continue indoor swim lessons during the winter?
A: Children get sick from organisms in the air, not from cold air or water. During the winter there are more illnesses because exposure to organisms is greater. Cold air and water exposure should be managed, but are not directly tied to illness.
Q: How can I prevent swimmer’s ear? How do I get the water out of my child’s ear?
A: Swimmers ear may be managed by applying ear drops to ear canal. There are over the counter drops at most pharmacies, and applying according to directions is typically effective. Always consult your pediatrician if there is any doubt concerning the condition.
Q: Can we stop at swim lessons once my child is comfortable?
A: It is important to continue swim lessons even if your child is comfortable. It may reinforce known skills and promote higher skill levels.
Q: Are skin problems like rashes, eczema and athlete’s foot more common with swimming?
A: Children may be more prone to skin rashes with exposure to moisture and chlorine. Bathing to remove chlorine and utilizing quality moisturizers can help reduce occurrence. If conditions do not improve, consult your pediatrician.
This information is not intended to diagnose or treat a condition, but serves as informational material to keep parents/guardians informed.