Two in five parents stop taking children swimming in winter


Over a quarter of parents wait until the summer months before taking their children swimming, with more than 10% saying they are happy to go anytime but winter, research shows. 

A recent survey by children and baby swimwear specialists Splash About found that 28.8% of parents hold out for the summer before going swimming, with a further 13.3% saying they will only swim on warmer days. Approximately 10.2% said they go most of the year but actively avoid winter. Only 37.9% said they take their children swimming all year round.

Bernadette Spofforth, managing director of Splash About, said: “Until swimming becomes second nature to the child, it’s vital they continue practising so they can develop their skills. A break is likely to disrupt their routine, slow down the process and lead to them forgetting everything they had previously learnt. This can be extremely frustrating for the child.” 

Experts suggest it is important for babies and toddlers to continue having swimming lessons all year round. Regular interaction in a pool environment helps children to build confidence, while extended breaks from swimming can lengthen the time it takes for them to become comfortable in the water. In some instances, this can have a detrimental effect, risking the child developing a fear of water. 

Noel Janis-Norton, parenting author, coach and director of Calmer, Easier, Happier Parenting, said: “The younger the child, the easier it is for their brain to forget what they’ve learned, so it’s best to continue taking a young child swimming throughout the year.”

Despite how it might seem, the temperature of a swimming pool is kept constant throughout the year, and changes in air temperature can make swimming pools appear colder in the winter. Small children feel this change more acutely, and not enjoy the experience as a result. However, there are a number of swimwear options for smaller children that are designed to keep them warm throughout the year. 

Bernadette said: “ Wetsuits with fleece lining will cover the majority of the toddler’s body, and keep them warm while getting in the pool. This can help them enjoy water for a longer period of time. A swim hat can also be an added benefit.” 

Swimming is a life skill. Teaching children to swim from an early age allows them to become comfortable and confident in the water and helps to avoid the chance of accidents in the future.

Click here for more tips and advice about swimming during winter and the benefits of taking your baby swimming.