Yes, you should definitely keep swimming through winter

Would you pull your child out of kinder or school during winter…?

When Melbourne is hit with winter, the frosty mornings, unpredictable rain and chilling winds make it very tempting to cancel all plans and hibernate in the comfort of your home. However, in doing so could come at a cost to your child’s progress and health and continuing your routine becomes more important than ever. Let us explain why:

Repetition, repetition, repetition. This is how your child learns, it has been tried and tested. If you break this routine up over winter it can be hard to re-establish once the warmer months come back. Children that swim through winter progress through levels quicker, whereas children that take the winter off tend to stay stagnant in the same level for much longer and take more time to actually learn to swim. This is more prevalent in children under 7 years old as they haven’t developed their long term skill retention just yet.

Regression in confidence and performance
As teachers, we see this a lot and it’s such as shame. Some children can get stuck in sticky elements of levels, and just when we start making a break through, winter comes and by summer they have lost all their progress. Infants and toddlers that are new to the pool and transitioning into lessons lose their confidence quickly, and can often come back from a ‘break’ and cry for the first few weeks until they realise that it is actually fun.

Water Safety
It is a common misconception that drownings only occur in Summer. Swimming is not only teaching your child to ‘swim’ but also learn the do’s and don’ts when around water, may it be the bath, pond, river etc. Going in to summer when they are more likely to be around the beach and pool it is important, no doubt, but how about giving them a head start?

Think of the teachers
Your child has built a lovely bond with their teacher, and this has taken some time on both parts. Once your child has been with a teacher for a term, the teacher understands how they operate and learn, what their strength and weaknesses are, how close they are to the next level, and genuinely cares for them and their progress. We hear conversations between teachers and the disappointment they experience when they lose a child to ‘winter’. All their hard work potentially lost, and their buddy ol’ pal is no longer in their class. Places cannot be held over winter, and if you really like your teacher your spot may not be there when you return come summer.

For the Love of exercise!
Introducing a healthy lifestyle starts from the moment your child was born; your healthy habits will become their healthy habits. Keeping active is so important for health and well-being all year round, not just for half of the year when the weather permits. Besides, your children have a whole lot of energy to burn off, let us help you with that! Swimming is a great whole body exercise, and much like any other regular exercise, strengthens the immune system so children may be less likely to fall ill over the cooler months.

Health benefits –
We commonly hear that parents are going to pull their kids out of swimming through winter so they don’t get sick. Yet, the fact is that they will still most likely catch all the colds that went around anyway! Why? Well, your child's health is based on the strength of their immune system, not the amount of stress encountered.

Weather and the immune system –
Once your child is wet, their bodies will use its own warmth to evaporate the water unless you do this via external methods, such as towelling off and using a blow dryer to dry their hair. If we allow the body to use its own body warmth to do this, your child’s body temperature will decreases which causes a ‘stress’ on their immune system. It is when their immune system is already stressed that instances such as wet hair in the cold breaks down their resilience and can allow cold and flu viruses to take hold.

So how do you keep a healthy immune system?
- Eat a diet high in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, and low in saturated fat.
- Get adequate sleep so your body can fight against those nasties.
- Exercise regularly (ah ha!! See, keep up the swimming and other activities through winter!)
- Get outside when the sun is shining, or for a breath of fresh air even when it’s not

What can you do to avoid this when swimming though winter?
1) Wear a cap in your lesson –
Your head is where you lose most of your heat, so it makes sense that if you would warrant wearing a beanie outside, why not wear a ‘water’ beanie (aka swim cap) in the pool? Caps come in 3 main materials for different ages; polyester, latex and silicone. We suggest that for a child around 3 years old the polyester material caps are perfect because they are easy to get on and off without pulling your child’s hair. Silicone caps a perfect for ages that are learning to dive as they help goggles stay on the head and fit a little bit more snug.

A tip to getting caps on is to get your child to hold the cap with 2 hands at their forehead, count to 3 and pull the cap over the top of their head from front to back in one swift movement, over and then under the hair line at the back of the head.

2) Wear a long sleeve rash vest –
Half your child’s body is under the water, which is toasty warm in our pool that is heated to 32.5 degrees. However when they are sitting or standing listening to their teachers they can get a breeze on them and feel cold. If your child is one that feels cold a lot, we suggest buying a long sleeve rash vest that is tight fitting for their lessons over winter.

3) Bring a hair dryer –
Quickly dry off excess water under our hand dryer located in all change rooms, or bring your own hair dryer.

4) Rug up when leaving –
Dressing gowns and onsies are great to wear home ensuring your child is completely warm. A beanie will also stop the heat escaping from their head and shoes are a must to keep those little toes warm!

Did you know Klim Swim rewards customers who swim all year round?

Every customer who has enrolled in 4 consecutive terms of lessons (from Term 4 2016 through to Term 3 2017) will be rewarded with a FREE holiday program in the Spring school holidays!

Mark in your diaries now 2nd - 6th October is your FREE holiday program! That means your child receives 5 free lessons worth over $100!

Don't know what the holiday program is? Read more on our website.