Consistency is key when learning anything new, and that’s certainly the case with swimming.
Participating in swimming lessons year round is the ideal way for your child to keep gaining confidence and improve technique and ability. Unfortunately, the colder weather can spark a drop in people’s commitment to their swimming lessons. The problem with stopping lessons for an extended period of time is there’s a good chance your child could either suffer from the ‘one step forward, two steps back’ syndrome or, worse still, once they eventually get back in the water they’re right back to square one.
We understand winter can be a time of year when many shudder at the thought of getting wet, which is why we’ve put together some ideas to help you stick with your routine.
Keep your hair dry
Nothing makes you feel colder than stepping out into the elements with soaking wet hair! If you are staying in the shallow end of the pool with your little swimmer, the solution can be as easy as tying your hair and theirs up and pinning any loose strands.
For under-water swimmers, there are now a whole range of swim caps on the market designed to help keep their hair dry, whether they have long or short hair. If any water manages to sneak its way in from the edges, dry your child’s hair off as soon as you can with a hair dryer.
Prevent swimmer’s ear
Some children are more prone to swimmer’s ear in the colder months – the good news is there are simple steps you can take to prevent it. The main one is to keep their ears dry, which you can do a few different ways:
• Use earplugs suitable for your child. You can buy specially designed ones which stop water getting in. Additionally, they can wear a specially designed wrap around their head to further protect their ears.
• Once out of the pool, dry ears thoroughly. Tilt their head to one side and gently tug on the earlobes to help release any trapped water. Then gently remove any excess by wiping it with a towel. Avoid using earbuds which, if pushed in too deep, can cause bacteria to enter the ear canal.
• You can also gently dry their ears with a hair dryer – place all settings on low and hold about 30cm from the ear.
• Use preventative ear drops. You can buy these online or at your local pharmacy. Pop them in straight after swimming. They aid in drying up excess water that may be in the ear canal and help prevent swimmer’s ear developing.
Make sure the facility where you go for lessons offer heated pools. The Adelaide Aquatic Centre aims to maintain a comfortable temperature of around 27 °C during the winter months.
So, as with most parenting duties – preparation is going to be fundamental to a successful year of swimming lessons. Be prepared and they can go straight from a nice warm pool, to a lovely warm shower with dry hair and ears. All they need to do then is put on warm, dry clothes and off they go! And just as a reminder, the Aquatic Centre Swim Shop’s friendly staff will be happy to help you with ear plugs, wraps, swim caps or anything else you might need to make your child’s swimming experience as enjoyable as possible!