Before Getting Your Child Into Competitive Swimming

Swimming as a Sport for my child
Expert session Question & Answers

My son is 4 years old. He is diagnosed with Autism spectrum disorder. He enjoys playing in water in small swimming pool where his feet can touch the ground. But he cries, screams and shouts if is taken to deep swimming pool. How can we teach swimming to such kids? Do you know any coach who can teach kids with special needs in Thane.

Swimming is an amazing exercise for all kids, no matter what their level. It is a great sport for Kids with autism or attention disorders as they often do very well in swimming too. I don’t know anyone in Thane.


Is there any specific order of stroke style that should be learnt? Which is best to teach kids first?

As such no specific order to learn however, normally for kids with these ages suggested is Freestyle,Breaststroke, Backstroke and then Butterfly.

Pool contains a lot of chlorine. What precautions should we be taking for protecting skin. Kids also have the tendency to gulp water. What can be done to prevent this?

Chlorine is there to kill the germs, however Coaches come to know if the amount of Chlorine is high, as it causes itching. To protect Skin, Banana Boat/ Biotique Sunscreen are good, use of Swim Goggles, Swim Cap and good quality swimwear is enough.

Can you please suggest the apt age to start learning swimming for kids?

If you want to coach kids Swimming from outside , in India right age would be 5+(Looking at crowd in pools and safety issues), but if you yourself wants to coach, you can coach from 3+.

Is it advisable to swim in Winters also. My husband swims 12 months a year and wants me to get my 2.5 year old daughter to also be in the pool. Is it advisable?

Swimming is a skill that must be learned and practiced all year round, unfortunately, children are not comfortable in winter, especially due to current climatic changes due to global warming, but if Pools are heated to make swimming comfortable all year round and you will really see the skill difference. Children tend to forget new skills taught and new found water confidence will disappear without continual practice, to avoid this we recommend a year round approach in heated pools only for kids.

Sometimes my son gulps the chlorine water. Is it ok?

Its okay, kids will themselves vomit, if they have gulped more than required.

For throughout the year swimming practice, we will have to go outside because my society shuts it down from the rainy season. The pool will open only in February next year, by the time he'll forget what he learnt. What should be done for this?

No worries, if you yourself are coaching, it is safe to teach at age of 4 with personal attention, Normally at that age they can re-learn faster.

My child has very less body fat and keeps freezing. What should be done for this?(Boy, 7 years)

Rigorous warm up would be required while coaching, the body temperature automatically adjusts the water temperature , but coach your kid in summer only for now and try to include required fats in the meal to prepare for the coming summer.

My daughter is 5.8 years. She loves to play in the water. We taught her swimming in Last May-June. She swims for very short distance where she can touch her feet. If left in deep water she swims long distance but cries. Now she says no to swimming because we ask her to swim in deep water. Before this she was always excited for it. How do we regain her interest in it?

Wow! It’s great that your daughter is not aqua phobic and has learnt swimming at her age. But I guess she must have got some slight drowning experience in deep so she might not be ready. Try to counsel her and first make her feel comfortable in shallow part of swimming for at least a month. Don’t worry after few days she herself will gain confidence to go to deep, don’t pressurize her, she is small and all kids are not the same.

My daughter is 7 years and she faces heavy breathing during swimming. She had cold and cough issues till the age of 5. Will regular practise improve breathing issues?

Swimming is amazing exercise for all kids. Asthmatic kids are said to do much better with swimming than any other sport. Regular practice will definitely improve breathing, also try teaching her pranayam (anulom vilom) to improve it.

My daughter has very long hair which comes almost till her waist. Maintaining it after every swim is difficult. Is there any option to keep it dry while swimming? I have tried different types of caps. All in vain.

Apply coconut oil before going to swimming, it will not allow Chlorine to stick to hairs and also suggest to buy Cap  that is meant for Long hairs.

What is a good vegetarian diet for a swimming professional?

There are many options for vegetarians if your kid does not have nut allergies, you can give Nuts and Peanut Butter, Almond Butter, also in fruits include Banana and Avocados, Almond Milk if possible and also include Ghee regularly. Include Paneer and Spinach in diet.

Children tend to get very hungry after an hour's swimming. Is it advisable to feed something, I normally stick to juices and light food till half an hour.

They can eat food after half an hour but try and include Protein rich food. Also within half an hour you can give Chana, Peanut chikki etc.

What should we apply to hair before and after swimming to maintain the softness? Also should we wash hair after every session?

Cocunut oil is best for hairs. Yes washing hair is advisable.

The change is weather is so bad. It’s cold almost every morning. It rained almost 6 months this year. Summers is always extremely hot. We always have reasons to avoid them swimming. So what would you suggest as the best season and time of day for kids to swim?

Anytime between 4 pm to 6 pm is good for swimming even during summer. Other seasons try looking for heated and covered pool , but the time remains same.

My daughter asks for hot beverage after swimming. Ideally what should be given to eat and drink after swimming?

Hot soups are good, for eating within half an hour, Chana / Peanut Chikki.

It's very difficult to maintain the Skin and Hair while going to continuously for Swimming. What should be done?

As mentioned in earlier chats, apply Banana Boat/ Biotique Sunscreen and Moisturizer and Coconut oil before going in the pool.

My son swims very well but we feel he lacks stamina (Or strength ). I don't know how to put it, meaning he has been swimming since 1.5 years. Any standards to gauge this?

For any age, food rich in protein is always advisable after any sports. 

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 Sanchali Iyer

Sanchali Iyer – Before Getting Your Child Into Competitive Swimming

Sanchali Iyer is a passionate Swimming Coach who after 14 Years of IT experience in corporate decided to follow her passion and love for swimming by starting her own Swimming classes in various societies. She has a unique bonding with kids in her classes and kids just love to learn swimming from her.

Certifications: ASCA certified Swimming Coach, Certification on Water Safety and Swimming from American Red Cross & CPR certification accredited by AHA ( American Health Association) having OSHA guidelines.

The Session

Sanchali Iyer – Before Getting Your Child Into Competitive Swimming will be the topic where she will be taking the session at 5To15 event.