Before You Get into the Pool, Get Ready to Get Out

Even the best swimming lesson or play session in the water can turn ugly if you don’t have a plan for the moment you get out of the pool. Keep these four tasks in mind, and you and your kids will make it home (or at least back to the car) feeling as happy as you did in the water.

  1. Go straight from the pool to the shower after swimming. Kids’ skin is especially sensitive to pool chemicals.
  2. Don’t forget to have towels, a warm drink—even if it’s hot out—and a snack ready for right after your lesson. Swimming requires a lot of energy. Aside from all of the energy it takes to swim, there’s also a big energy expenditure just maintaining normal body temperature, even in a warm pool.
  3. It’s a good idea to have more than one towel for your child. If they’re big and fluffy, that’s even better. Spread your towels out so that the sun warms them while you’re in the pool. Use one towel to wrap around your child’s body while you use another to thoroughly dry his head and ears.
  4. Make sure to drain his ears and dry them well. Fluid trapped in the ear can be a breeding ground for outer ear infections. Have your child tilt his head from side to side to drain his ears. You can also use a blow dryer on the low setting to gently warm the air next to his ears.
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2 Responses to Before You Get into the Pool, Get Ready to Get Out

  1. Edward Olivero says:

    I was surprised to read that having a “warm drink” ready (even if it is warm out) after their swim is important. Why is that? I’d be very curious why that is the case. (btw, I’m criticizing; I’ve just never heard of that…)

    Your tips are OUTSTANDING, by the way!!!

    • Karen Murphy says:

      Thanks, Edward.

      There are two reasons to have a warm drink ready for your kids when you get out of the pool. First, kids lose body heat in the water much faster than adults do, because they have less body fat and a lower ratio of mass to surface area. Even if it’s hot out, it can take kids a while to warm up. Second, when you exercise in the pool, your body loses water just the way it does when you exercise on land. (Even if you’re not sweating, you’re exhaling moisture with every breath.) When you’re swimming, though, it’s hard to realize that you might be getting dehydrated. Part of the reason you tend to feel so hungry when you get out of the pool is that you’re a bit dehydrated. The warm drink kills two birds–the heat loss and dehydration–with one yummy stone.

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