Addressing Parents Concerns About the Wisdom of Encouraging a Very Young Baby to Submerge Their Face During Swimming Lessons  

by Pool Builders on 08-21-2012 in Articles

With the interest in baby swimming classes increasing around the world, some commentators are asking if the chemicals used in swimming pools are safe for babies. Others are concerned that it is not safe for a very young baby to have their heads submerged in chlorinated water. But is this something that people should be concerned about?

Education is the Key to Understanding

Different swimming schools and instructors have their own opinions on this matter and no doubt you as a parent have your own questions about these issues. Education is the key to understanding the issues involved and to keeping your baby safe when swimming no matter what their age. Chlorine has known health issues that can harm even professional swimmers in the right circumstances. Chlorine has been associated with breathing problems in swimmers and it is known that chemical reactions with the body's own sweat glands have contributed to eye, skin and hair problems for some people.

Salt water offers an alternative method of treating pools and minimising the health risks associated with swimming and submerging face and ears into still water. However salt water is a form of chlorination and so has similar, although reduced health risks as chlorine. Bees are attracted to salt water and sometimes this can be potentially a greater risk factor than the chlorine itself.

Addressing the Issues

With these concerns in the minds of parents, it's little wonder you are possibly confused about how safe it is for you to take your young baby to classes. Experienced instructors working with young babies will usually tell you two things

1. The choice to submerge is completely your own and you will know when it feels right to do so. Your baby can attend classes without needing to submerge their head. They will still gain value from being with you in the water as a survival skill they will retain for life. When they do start to submerge, it will only be once or twice per lesson so the actual time spent underwater is very limited and remains so for most of babies first year of life.
2. Ensure the instructor has the appropriate qualifications to be teaching a baby class and understands parental concerns and has a good explanation for parents of the issues involved.

In working through your concerns, remember that babies have been attending baby-swimming classes for many years and with few problems as a consequence.

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