Canceled courses and wetsuits: Colder swimming pools are becoming a problem for children

Baby swimming lessons are cancelled, and many older children climb into the cooler pools in warm neoprene suits: The lower water temperatures in indoor pools due to the energy crisis affect the little ones in particular. DLRG and swimming clubs see a limit reached.

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Chilling at children’s swimming lessons


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In Hesse’s swimming pools, bathers are currently shivering faster. The reason for this is the drop in water temperatures in many places as a result of the energy crisis. From mostly 29 to 26 degrees – that doesn’t sound like much at first glance. But it makes a difference in terms of comfort.

Children in particular are feeling the consequences on their swimming lessons: beginners who are sensitive to the cold now have to grit their teeth when jumping into the cool water – or slip into a warm neoprene suit beforehand.

Baby swimming is cancelled

The water instruction courses for the very young, the so-called baby swimming, are usually completely cancelled, as reported by the German Lifesaving Society (DLRG) in Hesse. After the restrictions and closures due to the corona pandemic, this is the next setback for affected parents and children.

“Every bather who accepts the temperatures helps to save energy. It is important at the moment,” Elke Liedtke, deputy head of the Taunabad in Oberursel (Hochtaunus), campaigns for understanding. Here, too, the water temperature has been lowered. The sponge pool, which is normally heated to 32 degrees, remains completely empty. “26 degrees would be too cool for the little ones,” says Liedtke. Baby swimming has therefore been canceled for the time being.

DLRG: Better cooler than closed

DLRG does not like all this. But the state association Hessen is forced to participate: cooler pools are better than closed pools, explains DLRG president Michael Hohmann. Because this scenario was also discussed publicly.

“Sports and learning to swim must remain possible,” says Hohmann. Open swimming pools are important to meet the high demand for, among other things, swimming courses. “Otherwise this mountain will keep piling up,” warns Hohmann.

Beware of wetsuits

If you get a place on a swimming course, you can consider yourself lucky. “Because as soon as the dates are issued, the courses are usually booked in no time at all,” reports the DLRG president. This is also the case in Oberursel’s Taunabad: The local swimming club currently offers ten swimming courses, and there have been inquiries for around 15 courses.

The lower water temperatures did not change that. 26 degrees is almost reasonable for the slightly older children. “We therefore do not expect a wave of illness,” says Hohmann. “Most of the time, the kids don’t mind as much as the parents.”

However, many parents want to do something good for their children and equip them with warm neoprene suits. But DLRG president Hohmann points out: “Wetsuits are okay, but they also give you buoyancy. If the kids then swim without them, you have to observe how they do.” Lower buoyancy must be compensated by own swimming ability.

“reasonable limits”

Peter Haas, head of the swimming club Oberursel, criticizes the water cooling recommended by the Association of City and Municipalities: “It cannot be right that the young children who have to learn to swim suffer from it.” With the temperature set down to 26 degrees, the limit of what is reasonable has now been reached. If the situation worsens and more courses fail, you risk a generation of non-swimmers.

In the longer term – and with greater security of energy supply in Germany – DLRG is also calling for warmer water temperatures in the pools again.

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