Reflux and Submersion

1 post / 0 new
Reflux and Submersion

Reflux and Submersion
Reply Favorites Contact
Hello to everyone and a belated Happy New Year.

<> This is my first post on the new forum so here goes!!

<> <>I have a 20 week old baby who has been coming to my classes since November. Mum told me from the start that Theo had quite bad reflux but that he was on medication and it was under control. I have had babies with reflux in classes before with no problems.

<> <><>Theo has really enjoyed the classes, he is very active and lively. He hasn't taken to submersion very well though which I have stressed to mum is fine and that it is early days and that we won't force or rush this aspect of swimming. Every class we have practised some water pouring over the head which is usually fine. When he has objected we haven't done any submersion. On a couple of occasions we have had a try but he has surfaced looking pretty distressed. Lots of spluttering, red faced, difficulty regaining breath. Naturally after a submersion like that we have agreed to leave going under for a couple of lessons and try again at a later date.

<> <><><>We had tried again last week but with similar results and mum said that each time he had been under he had a very rattly chest that night after class. She felt that he had inhaled water into the lungs as a result of his weak 'valve' related to his reflux.

<> <><><><>I explained to her that the reflux 'valve' was at the entrance to the stomach and I explained to her the workings of the epiglotis, larynx etc and the breath holding reflex in babies, along with the gag reflex which should stop water entering the lungs. She still maintained that there was water in his lungs. Mum is quite happy to cotinue swimming as Theo is clearly enjoying every other aspect of class and I told her I would go away and do some research on the matter.

<> <><><><><>I wonder if anyone else has had any experience like this or can shed some light? If there is water getting into his lungs then he would be at risk of dry drowning but I'm wondering if he is getting mucous on his lungs after swimming for another reason - reaction to chlorine maybe?

<> <><><><><><>Any thoughts would be gratefully received.

<><><><><><><>With love and thanks

<><><><><><><><><>Lisa Bartlett

Report abuse Quick Reply
Sun, Jan 21 2007 4:47 PM In reply to

Top 25 Contributor
Joined on Sat, Sep 9 2006
Re: Reflux and Submersion
Reply Favorites Contact
Hi Lisa,

I doubt personally that this has anything to do with the reflux although I am not a medical expert.

Are you following submersions with bouncing and kissing?? A gentle blow on the face often helps afterwards, or, partial submersions (mouth only) to build confidence in mum and baby for a few weeks and concentrating on baby learning to blow bubbles.

There is the odd baby that just never seems to take to them until a lot later when they are voluntary but then spends their whole time underwater given half a chance.

I would suggest that mum has lost confidence and as such it might be worthwhile banning them for some time so it doesn't feel like a failure to her and concentrating on other activities with them both for a while.

How does baby react to accidental submersions - often those seem to go unnoticed by baby and can help restore confidence?

Do update on it.

best wishes,