We take our Water Babies’ health very seriously, so please check out our policies and guidelines on everything from sniffles to vaccinations.
Swimming before your baby’s vaccinations
HSE guidelines say you can take your baby swimming at any time, regardless of whether they’ve had their injections. The high quality of the water required in public pools makes the likelihood of transmitting infections very unlikely; plus, the diseases against which your baby is inoculated can’t be carried in chlorinated water anyway. So the right time to start is ‘any time’!
When lessons clash with vaccinations
It’s the way of the world: parents often find that their child’s vaccinations are scheduled for the day of a Water Babies lesson. You might like to check with your doctor or health visitor, but we’ve had many babies who’ve been for their jabs in the morning, come swimming in the afternoon, and had no problems at all. In fact it might be a bonus, since the warm water can soothe grizzly nerves or stiff little arms or legs.
Noah catches the duck!
If you’re not sure…
When it comes to any medical condition we ask that you always check with your doctor or other health practitioner before coming along to Water Babies. We might know our stuff when it comes to swimming, but with things like chest infections or long-term conditions we don't feel it's our place to advise you. If you decide against attending, please do let your local office know (so your teacher doesn’t wonder where you are) — and they may also be able to offer some general guidance.
When your little one isn’t well
Please, never bring your child swimming if either you or they have any significant illness, including ear infections, chicken pox, a bad cold, or vomiting/diarrhoea. It’s not fair on you, your child, the other families, your teacher, or the pool. Please ensure that any sickness/diarrhoea symptoms have completely cleared for at least 48 hours before your lesson; or 14 days if a gastrointestinal bug has been diagnosed by a medical professional. If you’ve ever seen the mess a liquid leak can cause, you’ll know why we have to evacuate the pool in a hurry!
When you sign our terms & conditions, you take responsibility for the fact that, should you answer ‘yes’ regarding any medical conditions you or your baby might have, you’ve checked things out with your doctor before starting with us. This responsibility is passed on to any other parent or carer who might bring your child swimming.
If your child has eczema
While it does depend on the severity/type of eczema, for the majority of children it’s fine to bring them swimming. You should smooth the prescribed barrier cream over the affected parts and then, because the cream will make your baby slippery and therefore tricky to hold, pop them into an eczema suit (which, unlike a cotton top, doesn’t absorb the cream). As always, do check with your health practitioner if you have any worries about your child’s skin.
'Incidents’ in the water
Babies and toddlers are prone to all sorts of mishaps. Our double nappy system is pretty fail-safe, but should anyone’s lunch decide to make a reappearance, please tell your teacher immediately. There are well-practised guidelines in place for how to handle almost every eventuality!