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Keeping Swimmers in Hot Water

February 1, 2014

Last night I turned on the bath water in the tub. I had inadvertently filled the tub with only cold water.

By submerging one hand and half way up to my elbow in that cold water, to pull the plug, I reacted with shivering for a few moments afterwards.

It brought back memories of teaching swim lessons, outdoors, in Kansas City in the late 60s. Nobody heated pool water back in those days and it took me up to an hour to stop shivering after a teaching shift.

Thinking back, that pool water was probably in the upper 70˚s or lower 80˚s, which doesn’t sound too cold when you think of it as air temperature. But cold water reduces body temperature 25 times faster than cold air. If our body temperature is lowered by only 3 ½˚ to 95˚, hypothermia can cause our heart and respiration systems to fail, resulting in death.

At Emler, we heat the water to 90˚ and we heat the air around that water to 85˚. Of course we are avoiding hypothermia, but we have also found that 90˚ water provides maximum comfort and relaxation for nervous young swim students.

In short, your children learn to swim happier and better in heated water. Plus the teachers don’t shiver for an hour after every shift. Everybody wins!