What Is The Ideal Temp For Swim Lessons?
Water temperature is a major factor in swimmer comfort and overall success in the water. Water that is too cold can lead to chilling, discomfort, and lack of focus. And water that is too hot can lead to overheating, discomfort, and lack of focus.
“When determining what temperature is right for you and your family, it is important to consider the age of the swimmer.”
When determining what temperature is right for you and your family, it is important to consider the age of the swimmer. Older children have an easier time tolerating cooler water temps, but the little ones need it much warmer. Why? Because younger kids are more prone to faster heat loss rates than older children and adults as they have a greater surface area compared to their body mass.
A simple Google search will show that aquatic guidelines vary. Based on our experience, below are our suggested ranges for different ages…
Infants to preschool age children: 90°
Young children are most comfortable with water that is closer to their natural body temperature. It’s important to remember that body temperature drops more quickly in water than on land and that it doesn’t take long for hypothermia to set in. When babies are too cold, they use lots of energy to generate heat. This can zap their energy reserves, making them cranky and even compromising their immune system. If a child is shivering or their lips are turning blue, then you aren’t going to get that much teaching out of them and it’s time for a break to warm them up with a towel, blankets, or clothing.
Learn-to-swim (ages 6-15): 86-90°
Much like younger children, older children can benefit from warmer water too. Everyone’s sensitivity to the water varies, but typically the warmer the water, the more comfortable the child will be. If a child is learning to swim outside, environmental factors (like a windy or cloudy day) can make them feel chilly which is why a warmer pool can help. You will also not get as much focus and effort from the child since shivering and trying to stay warm can distract them and the other participants in the lesson.
Adults Learn-to-swim: 75-90 degrees
This range varies and is more of a preference. Chances are if you are a beginner, you will be doing a lot more stationary movement (like back floating and bubble blowing) and may be feeling colder with less movement. If you are susceptible to the cold, I would recommend heating the pool to a higher temp. If the pool is outdoors and the weather is hot, then the pool can be a bit cooler.
Competitive swimmers to exercising adults: 77-82 degrees
Adults have an easier time tolerating cold water during recreational activities. The typical competitive swimmer and active adult would prefer a water temperature of about 77-82 degrees; anything higher than that feels too hot due to the duration and intensity that swim team workouts require. For chilly open water swims, a wetsuit will help you stay warmer longer on those cold days.
“It’s important to keep these guidelines in mind to maximize your enjoyment and learning in the pool this summer.”