Keeping warm and comfortable at Nepean Aquatic Centre as the weather cools down!

With the weather cooling down, we just wanted to remind everyone about the importance of keeping the windows at Nepean Aquatic Centre shut at all times to keep our students and instructors warm and well! Please do not open windows in the Learn To Swim pool hall, or ask for them to be opened, as staff and supervisors and instructed to keep them closed at all times, and to close any windows they see open. Our air handling system is designed to keep the pool halls at a constant temperature during the winter. If the windows are open, the system will detect a drop in room temperature and respond by heating the air even more. We understand it is much warmer in the LTS pool hall than outside, this is for the comfort of the children, and so suggest that parents have layers of clothing they can remove in the swim hall, or watch their child’s lesson from the air conditioned viewing room. It is also really important to shower children after lessons and layer them up warmly, including a hat, before taking them outside to go home.

In the main pool hall, unfortunately our air handling system is currently offline awaiting repair. In the meantime we have to keep the windows open slightly to maintain natural ventilation. Once repaired (hopefully in the next fortnight, we are awaiting parts), the windows can be closed as usual and the air handling system will continue to provide 100% fresh air which will be heated to maintain a comfortable and warm environment throughout Winter.

Why is it so important to continue to Swim in Winter? Learning to swim is a long term, ongoing process, and consistency is the key to the development and maintenance of swimming skills. Attending swimming lessons makes up an important part of a child’s weekly routine throughout their infant, preschool and early school years, and should not just be limited to the summer months, as the skills and behaviours taught in lessons need to be practised all year round to allow children to develop at their own pace. Unfortunately the risks posed by drowning do not go away in winter, so neither should the lessons. Additionally, children under 5 are just beginning to develop muscle memory, and need constant reinforcement to retain skills previously learnt, so a break in lessons often results in a loss of skills. By taking a break in the cooler months, you may be wasting all the time and money spent on lessons previously.
By swimming all year round children remain confident in the water, and remember, regular exercise helps to keep the body healthy and fight off winter illnesses. Of course you must attend a swim school with indoor heated pools, and be sure to use common sense and remove wet clothing, towel dry and cover wet hair, and get warm (a hot shower is a must!) and dry before leaving the swim centre.
It is important to remember that learning to swim is not just another option on the list of sports and activities available to children – it is an invaluable lifesaving skill – not a seasonal recreational activity.

Our Top 10 Tips for happy Winter swimming are:
1. Don’t put your child in a rash shirt – they are for sun protection, not warmth. They will only make you child colder in the water.
2. If you are a parent in the water, you may wish to remove your shirt before you get out of the water, because as soon as the air hits the wet fabric, you will feel the cold.
3. Have your towels easily accessible near the edge of the pool, so as soon as you get out of the water, they are ready to wrap.
4. Bring your dressing gown! This way you won’t be struggling to keep it on while you wrap your child. (A big old hoodie jumper is a great alternative if a dressing gown is just too much for you in public). A dressing gown, hoodie or hooded towel for the kids makes life much easier, and leave the child’s arms free as they move to the change rooms.
5. Take advantage of our hot showers – and bundle everyone into warm dry PJ’s or a track suit for the rest of the day.
6. Don’t forget head and feet – throw on a beanie or hat, and some ugg boots.
7. Give children a hot meal or drink (my children love warm milo as a great post swimming treat in winter) when you get home – they will sleep soundly that night, or even for their day sleep!
8. Remember – exercise is good for winter immunity for the following reasons:
Physical activity may help flush bacteria out of the lungs and airways. This may reduce your chance of getting a cold, flu, or other airborne illness.
Exercise causes changes in antibodies and white blood cells (the body’s immune system cells that fight disease). These antibodies or white blood cells circulate more rapidly, so they could detect illnesses earlier than they might have before.
The brief rise in body temperature during and right after exercise may prevent bacteria from growing. This temperature rise may help the body fight infection more effectively. (This is similar to what happens when you have a fever.)
Exercise slows down the release of stress-related hormones. Some stress increases the chance of illness. Lower stress hormones may protect against illness.
9. DO NOT stop attending lessons – you will simply be wasting the time and money spent so far teaching your child the valuable skill of swimming, and they will have to relearn some of their swimming skills again in the Spring.
10. Enjoy this time to slow down and be with your child/ren – either in the water, or poolside watching their progression of skills – come summer they will be even better swimmers!