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Challenging winter swim myths

Reading time: 5 minutes

Swim Instructor teaching a happy toddler to swim

The benefits of maintaining your child's swimming routine over the cooler months are many but common myths see many abandon the bathers at this time of year. We challenge some commonly held myths about cool weather swimming below.

A reminder of winter swimming benefits:

  • Swimming keeps children active throughout the year.
  • Repetition of skills over the winter months stops kids regressing and having to relearn skills when the warmer weather returns.
  • Maintaining a healthy schedule and routine is important for kids development. 
  • For active kids that play soccer, football, netball or basketball, swimming is a great cross-training active recovery that can help ease sore muscles and build endurance, fitness and flexibility.
  1. Myth 1: Swimming during cold weather causes colds
    Viruses, rather than temperature are responsible for causing colds. it has been found that children who swim throughout winter often catch far less colds and flu, as they are often fitter and maintain stronger immune systems. However, it is always important to dress for the weather when leaving the pool. Students should be well dried, dressed warmly, and the use of beanie will assist in maintaining body temperature, avoiding likelihood of illness. It is not recommended to leave the Swim Centre wrapped in a wet towel or swimwear.
  2. Myth 2: Having a break from swimming won't affect a child's water confidence
    Swimming is commonly a confidence-based activity for children, learning to trust a new teacher, new depth in the pool, even a new activity can be a big hurdle for some learners.

    A pause can easily turn into stopping lessons altogether, or it can make restarting lessons in summer tricky, as children try to remember skills they haven’t practised in months and their confidence is low, hindering their willingness to participate and progress their skills. The more time in the water, the better.
  3. Myth 3: Having a few weeks break from lessons won't affect a student's skill progression or regression
    Children often spend more time in and around water in summer which increases the risk of potential drowning. Children who stop swimming lessons over winter tend to forget or regress in their swimming skills, especially if their long term skill retention and muscle memory are in the early development stages.

    Children are more likely to progress if they continue to develop skills over the cooler months, enhancing their water awareness and safety ready for lots of aquatic fun with family and friends over the warmer months.
  4. Myth 4: My child only needs to know swim safety in summer
    Drownings can occur all year round in all sorts of waterways. As a country surrounded by sea, with a water sports obsession, learning water safety is crucial. A 2022 Royal Life Saving Australia report, concerningly, estimated 40% of children leave primary school unable to swim the length of a 50m swimming pool and that participation drops off significantly after age seven. Making the most of the younger years to ensure kids have the skills and knowledge to keep themselves safe in water is essential.
Continuing your kids swimming lessons year-round builds the skills and confidence for them to become capable and happy swimmers. Find out more about HBF Arena Swim School

Find out more about our swimming facilities here.