Swimming is a great activity that the whole family can enjoy. You don’t have to limit your swim time to the summer. You can swim in the winter if you adhere to the following safety tips:
Watch the weather
Winter swimming should only be done on a day when the weather is calm. You wouldn’t swim during a rainstorm in the summer, so why risk it in the winter? The best time to swim is usually during the day when it’s not raining or snowing. Basically, do not go for a swim unless the sky is clear.
Avoid the extremes
Many spas offer a cold and hot skin treatment in which you are subjecting your body to extreme cold and then extreme hot. You should only do this if you are at a spa and they are licensed. Do not repeatedly jump into the snow or a cold pool and then dive right into a hot tub or heated pool. You could get sick or experience respiratory problems.
Stay away from ice
If you want to take a dip in your backyard pool, pond or lake during the winter, remember that ice is never nice. Any pieces of ice floating in the pool need to be removed and if the water is covered in an entire sheet of ice then swimming will have to wait. Besides how cold it is, ice can be quite sharp, which is very dangerous. You’ll also want to keep the water circulating to prevent equipment and plumbing lines from freezing.
Keep an eye on the temperature
Besides the temperature outside, the temperature of the water is important too. If you have a heated pool or are using a hot tub remember that pregnant women, infants and toddlers should not be in waters that exceed 40 C (104 F). In fact, any hot tub that is heated to a temperature superior to 40 C (104 F) is probably going to hurt your skin and even cause breathing and circulation problems whether you’re pregnant or not.
Supervision and rules are always needed
If you are swimming with children, whether it’s winter or summer, they need to be supervised. Rules should also be in place so the children know that they cannot run near the water’s edge or dive in the shallow end. Keep floaties, water wings and other floatation devices handy for older children. Infants and toddlers should be wearing floatation devices in the water at all times.
Swimming is an activity that can be done year round as long as you play it safe. Remember that if the sun’s out, no matter if it’s the dead of winter or the peak of summer, you need to wear sunscreen when you swim.