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Many parents, especially those who like to spend time in the cool waters of a pool themselves, want to introduce their babies to being in the water in an age-appropriate way. Especially if it is the first child, there can be a lot of uncertainties in this regard.

Because apart from choosing the right time for the first visit to the swimming pool, you have to consider numerous other factors that influence the baby’s well-being.

For this reason, the following article discusses, for example, what is the ideal water temperature for small children and what steps to have in mind when going to the pool for the first time.

The ideal pool temperature for babies and toddlers

Since the surface of the skin of smaller children as well as infants is very sensitive, they need a higher water temperature compared to adult swimmers. So, first you need to measure the pool temperature.

Ideally, you should pay attention to a pool temperature of about 32 degrees Celsius, which, moreover, is suitable for less active people. Due to their physical conditions, these, as well as babies and toddlers usually also cool down faster in the water, which must be prevented.

From when are babies allowed in the pool?

There are different factors that influence from what point a baby may enter the pool without danger. Although it is possible in principle to participate in appropriate swimming courses or similar from the age of six to eight weeks, this is not always advisable.

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However, especially in outdoor pools, there is usually an increased use of chlorine due to the increased occurrence of germs. In addition, the water temperature is often too low, especially for babies, but also for small children.

Assuming that the conditions in the pool are not ideal for babies in terms of hygiene and general conditions, they should not enter the pool until they are about four months old.

When are babies allowed in the pool?

There used to be a widespread belief that a baby should not go into the pool until after immunizations, but this is no longer the current standard. In general, the factors of hygiene products used and the age of the baby play a role in the decision for the first visit to the swimming pool.

Often, local swimming pools offer swimming lessons for babies that may be attended at one and a half to two months of age. However, in many swimming pools there is a comparatively high load of germs or chlorine and the water temperature is below the ideal of 32 degrees Celsius. Due to this fact, it is sometimes advisable to wait until the baby is at least four months old before visiting the pool.

Tips and hints for visiting the outdoor pool with baby

The visit to the outdoor pool is a special form of swimming pool visit, so you should take into account some additional aspects. In general, swim diapers are highly recommended for a smooth visit to the outdoor pool. Furthermore, it is important to ensure a healthy temperature for the baby, which is why both the sun’s rays and the heat should be prevented.

Also, when going into the water, you should use a waterproof sunscreen specially designed for toddlers or babies, respectively. Due to the fact that the pool water increases the effect of the sun’s rays through its reflectivity, it is essential to pay attention to this area. In principle, especially with a baby, you should avoid the midday heat, usually between 11 am and 3 pm.

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Not only high temperatures, but also the risk of sunburn, however, stress the organism of a baby or toddler during the entire visit to the swimming pool, not only in the midday heat. As soon as you are out of the water, the baby should be in the shade of a tree or a parasol to prevent health consequences. In addition, to ensure adequate protection, a head covering is more than useful even while in the shade.

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Due to the fact that especially the neck and shoulders are susceptible to sunburn, a cap with neck protection for a baby is recommended. In addition, to establish reliable safety, the use of pants and a T-shirt are important preventive measures. Both online and in special local stores, for example, you can also buy clothes for babies that have built-in UV protection.

Getting the baby used to water: this is how it works

There are a few measures that make it easier to get a baby used to being in the water of a pool. First and foremost, you should make sure that the baby is not frightened or overwhelmed by the cool water, and therefore create positive experiences.

If the baby has a skin disease, it is advisable to discuss the visit to the swimming pool with the doctor in charge beforehand. In addition, it is better not to go to the swimming pool if the child has a cold or other infection, or if the child is generally unwell.

When visiting the swimming pool for the first time, it is advisable to choose a time when the water is not so crowded. Furthermore, it makes sense to feel comfortable in the situation yourself, as children are very susceptible to their parents’ insecurities and may take them over.

At the beginning, it is advisable to hold the baby close to your body and seek eye contact before letting it glide through the water with slow movements, provided the child feels comfortable.

If the baby starts to tremble or get blue lips, it is high time to take a break out of the water. You can increase the time in the pool from ten to twenty minutes if the baby likes it, but there is a limit. For smaller children up to one year of age, the maximum time spent in the pool is thirty minutes.

The appropriate time for the first visit can be considered at the earliest with six-month-old babies, who should, however, never be without supervision when playing in the children’s pool. Even small amounts of water, such as a few centimeters, can pose a drowning hazard to a young child.

Conclusion

Due to their physical conditions, babies react differently to being in the cool water of a swimming pool, which is still new to them. Apart from a low germ or chlorine load, the right water temperature and avoiding the sun, the behavior of the parents is decisive.

In many cases, the feelings of the adult bathing enthusiast are transferred to the child and thus shape his or her experiences with the wet element.

The first steps should therefore be particularly cautious and in no case associated with excessive demands or fear. As soon as a few basic rules are observed, the supervised stay in the water will normally be a great and fun experience for most babies, which will shape their future attitude in this respect.

Larry has been a true water rat since childhood. Pure pleasure turned into a passion. That's why he is the first point of contact for friends and acquaintances when it comes to pool-related problems. He is an integral part of the PoolHandbook editorial team.