STA Baby Swimming Advice: Rotavirus

STA has recently received an increasing number of enquiries into babies swimming and the rotavirus vaccine. Reports have suggested that health visitors are informing parents not to take their child swimming until at least two weeks after the second vaccination; STA would like to reiterate that the rotavirus vaccine does not have an impact on a baby’s wellbeing during swimming.

What is the Rotavirus?

Rotavirus is a highly infectious stomach bug that typically strikes babies and young children, causing an unpleasant bout of diarrhoea, sometimes with vomitingtummy ache and fever.”

How does the rotavirus vaccine work?

Some of the rotavirus is in the vaccine and this helps your baby build up immunity so that the next time they come into contact with rotavirus they will not get the disease. The rotavirus in the vaccine is weakened, so your baby won’t get rotavirus disease just from having the vaccination.

The rotavirus vaccine does not have any impact on the chance of infection from swimming. STA advocate that when swimming babies always undertake the STA double nappy system.

But what is a double nappy system?

Quite simply, it is a purpose-made waterproof nappy worn with a swim nappy cover over the top.

This second protective layer over a disposable or reusable swim nappy is required in the majority of swimming pools across the country because it helps to stop the contents of the nappy leaking into the water.

Without the second layer, there is not only a danger of the pool becoming contaminated but also that bacteria from stools will make you and your baby (who is likely to swallow some water) ill.

However, even this double-nappy system does not fully contain loose, runny stools. It is important that if your little one has had diarrhoea they must not swim for 48 hours after the last episode so as not to spread the condition to others.

In addition, anyone who has been diagnosed with the infection cryptosporidiosis must not enter a swimming pool for 14 days after the infection has cleared.

Remember: go to the toilet first and always shower before you go in the pool – and make sure your little one is wearing a clean swim nappy.

Pool Plant, Water Safety, Health & Wellbeing

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