Does my child need vaccinations before swimming?

Good news: you don’t have to wait until your baby has been immunised to swim.

5 min read 100%

Does my child need vaccinations before swimming?

Good news: you don’t have to wait until your baby has been immunised to swim.

5 min read 100%

Unsure about taking your little one swimming until after their vaccinations? Well, we have good news: you don’t have to wait until your baby has been immunised to take them swimming. Read on to find out why.

What are the government recommendations on taking your baby swimming?

When it comes to swimming, you want your little one to be as safe as possible. Not only do you want them to be safe in the pool, but also protected from anything that can make them ill. This may lead you to believe that you should wait until after their vaccines before encouraging them to take their first dip in the pool, but this simply isn’t the case. Here’s the official NHS and Department of Health’s guidance to set the record straight.

What is the NHS guidance?

Swimming from birth has some amazing benefits and what’s even better is that the NHS states that babies can go swimming at any time, even before they have been vaccinated. Their guidance says that leisure centres suggesting that babies shouldn't swim before having all their jabs are offering out of date guidance.

For more details on NHS guidelines for baby swimming and vaccinations, visit the NHS website.

The Department of Health’s recommendation

The Department of Health also recommends that you can take your baby swimming from an early age, so there's no need to wait for them to have all their injections.

Immunisation reactions and going to the pool

Some babies may experience mild side effects after a vaccination, but these shouldn't prevent them from going to the pool. However, if your baby is feverish or irritable for a time after immunisation, then you might want to wait a few days until your baby is feeling well enough before diving in.

Can I take my baby swimming if they are ill?

Your little mer-baby might be taking to the water like a fish in the sea, but if they aren’t feeling well, it is best to keep them out of the pool until they feel better. Here’s some quick tips to help you make the right decision. 


Children are often prone to the odd cough and cold. That’s because their adult immune systems are still developing. This doesn’t mean you can’t take them swimming, though. If the activity is moderate and the symptoms are only in the throat and head—a light cold, then it’s fine to go swimming. 

However, if they are feeling tired or experiencing a fever, muscle aches or swollen glands, it is better to keep them at home. 

To be considerate of others, try to remember the first three days of a cold is usually the most contagious, so try to avoid any contact during that period. After that, feel free to swim to your heart’s content.

Chicken Pox

The short answer is no. The long answer is that Chicken Pox is a highly contagious virus, and you should only begin to think about taking your little one swimming once all the pox completely scab over. 

When you return to the pool, some extra protection—such as a rash vest or bodysuit— may be required to protect the scabs from being knocked when they are in the pool.

Upset stomachs

When it comes to upset stomachs, diarrhoea and sickness, you must not let your child swim until at least 48hrs after all the symptoms have cleared up. 

Not only will this help stop other children from getting infected, but it will also help avoid any unfortunate accidents in the pool. 


Although verruca are highly contagious, you can still take your child swimming if they have them. The advice is to make sure you cover them properly with a special verruca sock, which handily come in both children’s and adult sizes.

The adventure is only just beginning  

It’s time to suit up because you’re about to become a swim-time hero. Whether it’s arming yourself with a bag brimming with swim essentials, or making every swim session exciting—with a little help from us, you’ll be ready to make a splash. 

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Find out about Little Swimmers® Swim Pants

This content should not substitute medical advice from your personal healthcare provider. Please consult your healthcare provider for recommendations/diagnosis or treatment.
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