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When is ill too ill for swimming?

When you’re taking your baby or toddler swimming, it’s always hard to know when they’re ill and shouldn’t be going swimming.

They can’t tell you when they’re ill, and often, they could be a bit off colour but still be fine for swimming.

With N it’s fairly straightforward as usually when he’s ill, he’s off his food.  Although he has started mentioning his ear, so must now be starting to recognise when things don’t quite feel right.

Generally I go by the rule that swimming is always fine unless they (or I) have:

  • Conjunctivitis
  • Ear or chest infection (if they’re at a bad stage or struggling with breathing/pain)
  • Fever / generally off colour and lethargic.
  • Diarrhoea and/or vomiting

Other than that, we’re there.  N occasionally has a moan after waking from his nap, but once we’re in the car, he’s keen to get going.  It’s more likely to be me unable to take him (bout of ongoing conjunctivitis and stye at the start of the year) and I hate missing swimming because of me rather than him.

The problem can come if you’re not too sure, but ultimately, I would die of embarrassment if it was N who was the child that hadn’t been quite right and ended up throwing up in the pool, causing it to be shut.  Sometimes it’s unfortunate where a child might have swallowed too much water, but if they’ve been sick recently, it’s not worth wrecking everyone’s swimming lesson in your class and those later while the pool is cleared, checked and tested before it can reopen.

What’s your rule when taking children swimming?  Have you had any embarrassing incidents?


Disclosure: I am one of the Water Babies bloggers, all writing and opinions are my own.

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