Babies and Swimming Pools
I live in Texas and summer lasts about 10 months out of the year. When the summer peaks it can get past 105 degrees. Swimming in our pool is a great escape from the heat and is almost mandatory in Texas. When it came time for the first swim of the year I wanted to make sure that I was taking proper precautions with my baby girl.
I searched various websites and sources and learned a few things. Water from pools, lakes, oceans, etc. contains bacteria and chemicals that can be harmful to the baby. This could lead to diarrhea and other illnesses. Immunity systems of babies are still maturing and not yet ready for the germs and bacteria in the water. The chlorine and chemicals can also cause damage to the lungs and possible asthma. This is why the recommended age to introduce your baby to the pool is about 4- 6 months.
Babies are not able to regulate their body temperatures until about 6-12 months. The average temperature in the pool should be mid eighties, about 84-88 degrees but my baby preferred the temperature closer to the 90s. If the baby begins to shiver this should signal that it is time to get out of the water. Hot tubs are off limit to babies and toddlers. Their bodies can heat up much more quickly than adults, so if the water is over 100 degrees it can be dangerous.
Babies can drown in less than an inch of water. This is important to remember at bath time, pools and anywhere there is standing water. Always be within arms reach and don’t take your eyes off of them. An accident can happen in a matter of seconds. Follow the recommended age guidelines on all floats, devises and life jackets. If you feel uncomfortable in a situation, trust your gut and take your baby out of the water. I took my daughter to the pool and I felt like the water was too cold for her. My friend assured me that I was wrong and it felt fine. She has three kids, so I trust her judgement. I followed her advice and my daughter ended up with a runny nose for a week. This was a good reminder that you know what is best for your child.
If you baby is not potty trained, swimming diapers are a must. Regular diapers will soak up all of the water and the baby is dragging around a 3 pound diaper. The swim diapers conform nicely and don’t trap in water. They slid on like shorts but when you are ready to take them out of the swim diaper you can tear the sides for easy removal. I like the Huggies Little Swimmers in the large quantity so it will last all summer. There are a lot of choices that are also highly rated and include free shipping.
When my daughter was 9 months old I took her to the pool for the first time. My husband purchased the Baby Spring Float Activity Center. This made sitting in the pool relaxing because I knew she was secure in the float and I was always within arm’s reach from her. The float also has a canopy that helps prevent her sensitive skin from getting too much sun. My daughter loves to splash in the water and in the baby pool her feet could touch the bottom and she used the float like a walker to get around. I forgot the float on another trip to a friend’s pool and she used a baby life jacket. I didn’t feel comfortable with her in the pool without a complete flotation device, so we didn’t stay in the pool long.