Included in the swimming section of Living made easy for children is swimwear and swimming equipment which may be suitable for children with disabilities. This includes head and neck supports, pool hoists and waterproof overstockings (designed to be used over dressings and plaster casts).

Swimming can be enjoyed both indoors and outdoors by children of all ages and abilities - for recreation, fitness, therapy and competition.1 2 Water is a place where many disabled children can achieve a degree of independence and physical freedom that is difficult for them to find elsewhere.1

Help and advice

The benefits of swimming and aquatic exercise or therapy for your child may include:2

  • Increased cardiovascular function through aerobic exercise.
  • Reduced stress on joints through low-impact activity.
  • Improved muscle strength through the water's resistance.
  • Learning about breath control (e.g. through blowing bubbles in the water).3
  • Improved balance and agility.
  • Improved water confidence.
  • Increased self-esteem.

Whatever the type of pool, there should be a variety of means of access to the water to accommodate a range of abilities. Swimming pool hoists are one option, but alternatives include a pool access ladder, ramped entry (which often provides the best access) or steps.4 If you are looking to improve the disabled access to your pool, you might like to read Sport England's guide: 'Swimming Pools.'

View references and sources of further information ‣

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