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Taking the Plunge This Winter? Do It Safely

Taking the Plunge This Winter? Do It Safely
24 December 2014 1148 Views No comments

If your family aren't scared of the cold and are planning on trying a bit of winter swimming over the next few weeks, there are a few things that you should bear in mind.

Open-air swimming in winter can be fun and addictive, and is a great way to get exercise, so long as you follow safety precautions. Here are a few things you should know before taking the plunge.

No young children

Babies and very young children should avoid open-air swimming in winter, because they are unable to properly regulate their temperature. This means they are likely to become cold in the water in summer, let alone winter.

If you want to swim with your little ones over the next few months, you should head to the swimming pool. However, they can still enjoy the beach while you and older children hit the water, so long as someone is on land to keep an eye on them.

Lifeguards

When swimming in the sea or a lake at any time of year, you should always make sure that there is a lifeguard nearby. This is more important in winter, as the water can get rougher and the cold temperatures can tire you out more quickly.

Insulation

You should wear items in the water that will help you to cope with the cold better. Swim caps are a must, as they stop you losing a lot of body heat out of the top of your head while also keeping your hair dry, which can help you warm up faster when you finish your swim.

Wetsuits, neoprene T-shirts and swim boots are also a good idea to offer you a bit more insulation against the cold.

You should also be sure to have a dry towel, warm socks, a thick jumper and a woolly hat in your bag to warm you up once you are out of the water.

Ear plugs

Constant swimming in cold weather can cause something known as 'surfer's ear', which is essentially when the bone in your ear canal makes it close up slowly, impacting your hearing. Ear plugs can stop this and also stop water getting trapped in your ears.

Avoid rough water

Perhaps one of the most important things to remember is that you shouldn't swim in rough water. High waves and strong currents are dangerous even for the best swimmers, so avoid rough seas at all costs.