FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Why is swimming so good for babies?
“Scientific studies confirm the benefits of aquatic activities for babies and young children in different areas, not only psychomotor. It is a completely safe activity if done in the right environment, with the right staff. It is an excellent activity to practice with parents”. Dr. VICENTE MOLINA, Head of the Department of Pediatrics, Hospital Universitario Quirón Dexeus.
Early childhood stimulation in the aquatic environment brings babies significant benefits, in different areas: intellectual, psychological, emotional, motor, socio-emotional and organic. Many scientific studies confirm that this activity is very important in the psychomotor development of children:
- Stimulates the psychomotor and cognitive development
- Strengthens the cardiorespiratory system
- Promotes the development of the musculoskeletal system
- Improves intestinal mobility
- Promotes relaxation and contributes to better sleep
- Strengthens the emotional bond between parents and babies
- Helps socialization since classes are conducted with other babies and families in water
- Encourages baby’s autonomy and self-esteem
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Which pools are suitable for babies?
The type of installation to use with babies is more important than what parents may initially think.
- Water temperature should always be regulated between 31ºC and 34ºC, so that babies can feel comfortable in the water for the whole class. Babies have a thinner skin and a thicker subcutaneous capillary network, which is causing faster heat loss than adults.
- Ambient temperature is also important, and should always be set 2°C above water temperature level, in order to prevent colds.
- It is recommended that the pool is covered and heated.
- The pool should be specifically designed for teaching, ideally 1.20 meters deep, so that parents and teachers can comfortably hold the baby and practice optimal exercises.
- Babies should be dried and changed next to the pool, in order to prevent colds.
- Facilities must have adequate ventilation to ensure optimal air quality. Pools with UV lamps (med. pressure) and a good dehumidifier system guarantee a healthy atmosphere.
- The pool should have an adequate system to prevent acoustic noise and echo, which is tiring and affecting the baby.
- To avoid skin and/or eye irritation, it is recommended to avoid pools using synthetic chlorine. Salt Water Chlorination is a good alternative as it disinfects the water thanks to salt (used in very small amounts).
Our pool at Penguins meets all the above requirements: it has been specifically designed for babies and children.
As of which age will my child know how to swim?
This will depend on each child, and on his/her previous experience in the water. According to several studies, the locomotor system is sufficiently developed to enable swimming as of 4 years old. However, many children who practice water activities from an early age will start moving autonomously as of 3 years old, or even sometimes as of 2 years old.
When is it not appropriate to go to the pool?
When a baby or a child is sick and/or has fever, he should not go to the pool. Children suffering from ear infection or viral skin infections, should not go to the pool either.
Is it recommended to for a child to practice activities in water if he suffers from: 1/ Otitis, 2/ Asthma, or 3/ Atopic dermatitis?
Otitis is an infection which affects the different structures of the ear, causing inflammation. For children more prone to such infections, it is recommended to use made-to- measure ear plugs, to prevent water from entering the ear canal. Children should also be dried gently after the bath with a towel, or a dryer at minimal speed.
Asthma: Asthma is a chronic disease affecting the respiratory system. Many pediatricians recommend the practice of physical activities in the water for asthmatic children since it does not cause excessive pressure on the chest, it is practiced in a humid environment, and increases breathing capacity.
Atopic dermatitis: is an inflammation of the skin which is also known as eczema: the skin of children who suffer from eczema presents a constant state of dryness. Swimming is adequate as long as the child’s skin is hydrated after each bath.
If my child has a disability you can swim?
Yes of course. For most children, swimming and psychomotor activities in water general has a very positive impact on their development. At Penguins, we believe that all children should have the opportunity to learn to swim, and enjoy all the benefits of this activity.
As of when is the baby ready to discover the aquatic environment?
The baby is ready to discover the aquatic environment as of day one. The earlier the better, in order to make them familiar with water and prevent the unwanted “fear of water” to appear. During the first three months of life, a simple bathroom at home is an excellent resource to stimulate the baby in the water.
At Penguins we recommend starting pool activities when parents feel ready: it is important that the water experience is positive as of the very beginning, and that parents convey a feeling of safety and serenity to their baby.