Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Children and Hypothermia




Is your child at risks?
Hypothermia, children and swimming pools

Are you a bit too blissful in your ignorance about your child them getting cold?

 I don't get it!

Why do we let commercial swimming pools advertise and promote baby and toddler swimming lessons but we don't legislate that those pools MUST maintain the recommended temperature for babies and toddler?

But since it is not legislated the first question any parent that is considering enrolling their child into such a class is: "what is the temperature of your pool?

If they say it's 28°C (82°F) like most lap pools are, then tell them they are nuts and look for a good swimming school.

Seriously I recently went to visit family up in Sydney and I wanted to take my granddaughter swimming. I was just blown away to discover that three of the main pools in Sydney taught all their classes in 28°C.

Honestly most parents are sensible when it comes to letting children swim in any form of swimming pool regardless of whether it is heated or not. It's fairly obvious when children are getting cold and you would get them out even if they don't want to.

Having said that I really think that some pools are just a little blase about the temperatures in the water particularly when it comes to babies.

Hypothermia occurs when body temperature drops below 35°C (95°F).

Ok so if your babies normal body temperature is 37°C (about 99°F)and if the pool water you are putting them in is around 27°C to 30°C then do you think that your child is going to get cold relatively quickly?

And just in case you missed the rhetorical nature of the question the answer is an emphatic "Yes"!

All authority bodies around the world recommend that baby swimming lessons are preformed in 32°C - 34°C (90°F - 93°F) and that children's lessons are no more than 30 min.

 It has to be obvious to a blind man that even at the recommended temperature your child is still going to get cold. So if you want your child to have swimming lessons what can you do?

Know the temperature of the pool, watch them and get them out as soon as they show signs of getting cold.

If a list of symptoms can be considered good this list of symptoms of Hypothermia is one of the most succinct. Your swim teacher should know these symptoms and you should be comfortable that they will assist you in keeping an eye on your children.

But if your child is getting blue lips or they are starting to shiver, Get Them Out of the water and into something warmer. Forget about the teacher. This would never happen with a good teacher.

Lastly if Hypothermia is such an issue why aren't more cares getting their children to wear children's wetsuits. Can you live without them? Defiantly! But should you? That is a question only you can answer. I know what my granddaughter will be waring next time I take her swimming. My question is why aren't more parents putting their children into wetsuits for their swimming lessons?    

         Richard

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