Cold weather is here, and you and your family can no longer swim in your in-ground swimming pool. Part of the pleasure of having a pool is the fact that it’s great exercise. But, what do you do in the winter? You may be concerned about joining a gym or the YMCA because of the concern of swimming in the winter months. As a parent, you may even wonder whether your child can get sick from swimming in the winter. At Hawaiian Pools, we want to dispel three winter swimming myths.
More chances of catching a cold:
Colds are not caused by cold or wet conditions. The fact is, children are no more susceptible to catching a cold from swimming during winter than during the summer months. It’s true that they are more likely to catch a cold or the flu during the winter, but it’s not from swimming; it is because of the close contact with other children in school. Also, the viruses that cause infections do thrive in the dry, cooler months when houses and buildings are closed up from fresh air. Most children come down with 6 to 10 viral infections a year, but it’s not because of the water. A properly chlorinated pool is probably one of the cleanest places for your child to be. Of course, just as you wouldn’t send your child to school when they are sick, you would keep a sick child home from the pool.
More likelihood of an ear infection:
Similar to colds, middle ear infections are not caused by cold or wet conditions. They are caused by viruses or bacteria. Typically, an ear infection occurs when one has an infectious cold that causes swelling and restricts the drainage of the fluid in the Eustachian tubes from naturally draining through the nose and throat. In contrast, swimmer’s ear, a more easily treated condition, is an infection of the ear canal that is associated with being in the pool, but this doesn’t happen more because it’s winter time.
A wet head won’t make you sick:
The myth that going out with a wet head will make you sick likely goes hand-in-hand with its trusty partner-myth that says more heat escapes from your head than anywhere else on the body. The truth is that having a wet head does not contribute to a person’s likelihood of getting a cold. Temperature escapes from the body equally, so for comfort’s sake, it’s important to bundle up in the cooler weather. It won’t, however, keep you from getting sick.
Here’s a few good reasons to keep swimming in the winter:
- Swimming in winter poses no threat to children with functioning immune systems. Most indoor pools are heated to 90 – 92 degrees. As long as you quickly and thoroughly dry your child and change him into warm clothes he’s no more at risk for catching a cold after swimming than he is after his bath.
- Regular exercise helps keep the body, including the immune system, strong. Studies conducted in Germany indicated that swimming children are actually healthier than their non-swimming friends.
- Year-round swimming ensures that children do not forget skills learned during the summer months. Plus, it allows new skills to be taught at the most advantageous developmental age.
At Hawaiian Pools, we don’t want you to get tripped up by the myths of being outside after swimming. We encourage you to keep it up!