Your questions answered
What age should I take my child to a public pool?
There are recommendations that children over six months old can attend a public pool.
By that time:
- Their immune systems have developed enough to protect them from the bugs that can be present in the pool water
- They will have enough head control to enable them to keep their head out of the water
- Their body temperature control system will be better developed to cope with the changes in temperature from undressing and getting wet. The temperature in this pool should be comfortable for babies and
- Their ears will be better able to deal with water if it gets in.
What should I teach my child from six months?
Between the ages of six months and 18 months, your child will make progress towards learning how to survive in the water and they should learn the basics.
These pool visits should not be about learning swimming skills, but about letting them enjoy the water and have fun. It is crucial that your child does not learn negative behaviours at this time as this can imprint on them for the rest of their lives.
What do I do for the next age group?
Between 18 months and three years, you will be able to teach your child some simple water safety rules and skills.
What can I teach my toddler?
From three years onwards, your child can start to learn some swimming skills. Keep in mind though that this does not prevent your child from drowning.
I’m not sure I can teach my child how to swim?
Most public pools hold swimming lessons for young children. Visit the swim school before your child starts lessons, meet the teacher, and discuss any issues, such as experience and qualifications.
Ideally there should be a shallow pool for babies and toddlers to learn in. It should also be warmer than the larger pool. Like any learning experience, children should be encouraged to learn at the own pace. Allow them time to experience the water and gain confidence in one skill before progressing to another.