To this day I remember the first time I introduced my daughter, when she was barely 6 months old , to the swimming pool at home . For her dad and I, it was a very exciting moment as we were able to enjoy all the sensations that she was experiencing. First her little feet, then her legs, her tummy and then there she was with the water up to her neck. He loved it! So much so that she no longer wanted to get out of the pool. What a chore!
The pool can provide very fun moments for your son or daughter, in addition to offering us the possibility of proposing stimulation games that are very beneficial for their development. However, it is necessary to take into account some safety measures to protect and care for a baby in the pool .
Taking care of babies in the pool
My baby’s first swim in the pool was an unforgettable experience, although we decided not to repeat it many times as the water was too cold. We prefer to buy her a small inflatable pool , so that she can cool off from the heat and not be exposed to risks of drowning , falls or poisoning from drinking the chlorinated water.
When it is hot and you decide to go into the pool with your baby, I suggest you consider some tips so that your baby enjoys the experience to the fullest without being exposed to risks such as contracting an illness or suffering an accident :
- The water temperature for a baby must be between 28º and 30º, so that the little one does not suffer from the risk of hypothermia. If you take it to a public pool, find out if the pool temperature is right.
- Babies should not spend a lot of time inthe pool water. If you want you can take it out and, after an hour or so, put it back in the water .
- Each baby is unique and it is also in the pool . There are babies who like water and others who don’t. You must respect the taste of each baby and not force him to enter the pool if he does not want to. Everything in its own time and moment.
- If you notice that the baby begins to shiver or present purple lips, take him out of the pool and wrap him well. You should do the same when the baby is in the pool for a long time.
- When the baby has a cold or has a cold, it is not convenient to put him in the pool water. You better wait for him to get better.
- When you take the baby out of the pool and before wrapping it with the towel, it is advisable to bathe it with fresh water from a shower, to avoid skin irritation caused by the chlorine in the pool water .
Other tips to protect and care for babies in pool water
We continue with this list of basic tips that we cannot ignore when enjoying a day at the pool in summer (or any other time of the year if time and circumstances allow) with our baby. Next, we talk about some safety tips that will help you prevent accidents .
- Watch the baby. Experts advise that the adult who is in charge of the baby should never be distracted. You should never ‘lower your guard’, as carelessness can be fatal. We cannot even rely on pools designed specifically for babies or very young children, as there can also be accidents or scares such as drowning or slipping. As the US Department of Education’s ‘ Good Start, Good Future ‘ guide indicates , babies can drown in as little as a few inches of water.
- The use of special floats and cuffs is indicatedin babies over 7 months of age, from when they are closely watched by an adult. These devices will give the baby more freedom to move their legs and arms. However, we must always look for approved models. Many pediatricians recommend avoiding neck floats for babies .
- Midwifery classes are very suitable for families who want their baby to have more continuous contact with the pool water and learn to swim.
- It is not recommended that babies bathe in a Jacuzzi, especially to protect their skin.
- Beware of chlorine in swimming pools. Studies show that a large level of chlorine in pool water can lead to asthma and other respiratory problems in children.
- Keep the baby’s skin always hydrated with a special sunscreen for babies, to avoid burns and eczema. These are not recommended for less than 6 months. Pediatricians also advise wearing UV protective clothing and hats when children are exposed to the sun.