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Can My Baby Still Swim When They Are Ill?

Your little one may love swimming, but it’s also important to know when to keep them out of the pool when they’re feeling under the weather.


Babies and young children tend to get a lot more coughs and colds than an adult as their immune system is still developing; however it usually takes more than a simple cold to slow down a toddler. A general rule of thumb is that moderate physical activity, such as swimming, is fine if your toddler’s symptoms are only in the throat and head — as is typically the case with the common cold.

However, if your child seems overly tired or the cold is accompanied by a fever, muscle aches or swollen glands, playing at home might be a better option than a trip to the pool. Generally swimming is fine with a light cold but if it is a heavy cold with lots of mucus it is best to stay home and rest.

Generally it is during the first 3 days of a cold that your child is at their most contagious. Therefore, your child should not come into close contact or share water toys with other children while swimming.

Also, keep in mind that with indoor pools, byproducts of the chlorine disinfection process can irritate the airways and trigger coughing or aggravate asthma.

Chicken Pox

Chicken pox is highly contagious and you should only swim with your child once all the blisters are completely scabbed over. Try and stay away from pregnant mums and children with lower immune systems. If you think your child has chicken pox please advise the office so they can notify these mums if necessary. When you return to the pool you may need an extra cover to protect the scabs in the pool from being knocked when you are holding them.

Diarrhoea & Sickness

If your child is suffering from diarrhoea or sickness, then you must not swim with your child until at least 48hrs after the symptoms have cleared.


Most children are fine to swim with eczema but depending on the severity may need cream as a barrier. We would recommend to try an eczema suit which covers the skin and makes it easier to hold your baby in the water as the cream can tend to make them slippery. These suits are specially designed to have no seams, be softer on the skin and doesn’t absorb the cream. Always shower after swimming to remove the chlorine from the skin and re apply creams. 


Verruca are highly contagious, if you decide to swim whilst you have a verruca then it must be covered properly with a verruca sockthese are available in both children’s and adult sizes.    

Swimbabes take your babies swimming very seriously and would always recommend that you seek medical advice if you are unsure. Please also be mindful of other babies and families in the pool before make the decision to bring them swimming.

POSTED BY George Molloy
28 March 2017