Swim tips for a fun and safe day at the pool
With the hot weather well and truly upon us there’s no better place to cool down than at the pool.
So you can make the most of your next dip, we spoke to Northcott physiotherapist Dianne Hasler to get the lowdown on how to stay safe in the water this summer.
Get medical clearance
While the lure of the water can be very tempting — especially on those 40 degree days — it’s important to ensure you get medical clearance first where necessary. For those with health concerns, like epilepsy, asthma and other respiratory conditions, an emergency action plan is a great safety net to confirm what steps need to be taken should anything go wrong.
Contact the facility
Before you head off, give the pool a call to check accessibility and allow time for them to prepare. Depending on individual needs, a lifeguard may need to be booked for the session, so it’s best to tick all these boxes prior to arriving. For those with sensory issues this will also give you the chance to suss out when the busy periods are so you can avoid the crowds.
Consider support options
Check your NDIS plan to see what supports your funding will cover. You may be eligible for a physiotherapy assessment or a support worker to accompany you during your visit. It’s also a good idea to check that the carer or support worker who accompanies you on the day is physically fit and feels confident in the water. If you have a support coordinator they can advise you on how best to achieve any swimming or fitness related goals you may have.
Know your limits
Be realistic about your swimming abilities. Are you able to breathe and blow bubbles under water? Do you know how to bring yourself back up to a safe standing position? Knowing what you’re capable of will ensure you enjoy your swim while staying safe. For those with balance-related issues, a physiotherapist will be the best point of call.
Think about the details
Consider any toileting needs and check that you have plenty of drinking water; being in the sun and heated pools can cause you to sweat more which can lead to dehydration. It’s also important to ensure you have sun protection if you’re heading outside.
It’s easy to get caught up in the planning but now that all the details are taken care of, it’s time for the fun part. Invite some mates along, pick out your favourite swimmers and have a ball enjoying the water this summer. If you’re keen to make new friends, keep on eye on the Northcott events page for upcoming swimming carnivals.
Planning to hit the beach? Check out our guide to beach accessibility for wheelchair users.