50 per cent of Australians still believe having wet hair in winter will increase their risk of getting a cold

A whopping 50 per cent of Australians still believe having wet hair in winter will increase their risk of getting a cold, according to Kingswim, and this is just one of the reasons there’s a drop in swimming lesson numbers over the colder months.

“The idea that having wet hair in winter increases the chance of catching a cold has been around a long time, however, we were shocked to learn 50 per cent of people really believe it,” says Joanne Franklin, Kingswim Centre Manager.

Sarah caught up with Mornington Kingswim Centre Manager, Clare to ask about the benefits of continuing swimming lessons over winter.

General Practitioner Dr. Sam Hay says people needn’t worry about having wet hair in winter. “Viruses don’t breed in our hair. So, if your hair gets wet, you won’t suddenly get sick. Colds and flus are more common in winter, but it’s not the weather or wet hair that’s the problem. Winter drives us indoors to the comforts of a warm and cosy space. Too many people huddled together means it’s easy for viruses to spread.”

Here's some benefits to continuing swimming through winter that Clare mentions in our interview:

  • Reduce the risk of colds – children who swim throughout winter have stronger immune systems and are less likely to catch colds and flu.

  • Keeps you fit while doing an indoor activity – swimming is a great way to remain fit and keep energy levels maintained indoors. Plus, it’s great to get the kids out of the house!

  • Repetition is key for long-term skill retention – months of summer lessons can ‘go to waste’ if stopped over winter. Continuing lessons is key to maintaining technique, stamina and confidence. This is particularly important for infant, toddler and pre-school aged children when long-term skill retention and muscle memory are starting to develop.

  • Staying safe – accidents can happen at any time in the water, so it’s important children understand how to handle emergencies and stay water confident year-round.

  • Swimming makes you smarter! Who would have thought! Swimming has been shown to assist in brain development and for school-aged children, is regarded as vital for the development of academic performance, as well as coordination, motor skills, balance and concentration.