New figures show the cost of teaching children to swim, may cost the NHS over £6.5 million in medicine alone this year. This startling amount does not take into consideration scarcely available appointment time with doctors and specialists.
Based on conservative figures of three million children swimming on a regular basis, 10% will be prone to painful ear infections caused by contaminated trapped water in the ear canal. An infection of this type will need a course of antibiotics, costing over £20* per 100ml.
Richard Silberbauer from SwimSeal said: “Whilst many children will never succumb to an ear infection for those children that are susceptible to them, any prolonged period in water can see repeated flare ups. Parents are often long-suffering and often simply accept the need to treat the symptoms as they occur. Many will have cancelled swimming lessons and had holidays ruined as their little ones must stay out of the water.
Mum of three, Michelle Horne, said: “My kids refused to wear headbands, ear plugs or anything that they felt made them look ‘different’. Not only that, I never found them to work for them as water always had a way of leaking in and they couldn’t hear their swim instructors.”
Richard advises: “Swimseal offers the chance to prevent painful ear infections really easily. Two or three drops in each ear acts like natural ear wax to provide a water-repellent coating that protects the ear canal from trapped water before simply dissolving away after a couple of hours.”
The infection known as otitis externa or swimmer’s ear can be either bacterial or fungal. It affects the ear canal and is particularly common in children. Exposure to polluted or contaminated water is the most common cause. This water can become trapped in the ear canal from swimming, diving or simply showering. Symptoms include pain and itching, dulled hearing and ear discharge.
As antibiotics become increasingly less effective the more people take them, many parents want to limit their use as much as possible.
Michelle agrees: “Prevention is always better than cure and I don’t want my children to build up a tolerance from a young age to a drug that could be needed for something exceptionally serious.”
As part of the national curriculum in England all schools must provide swimming instruction either in key stage 1 or key stage 2.
Pupils should be taught to:
- swim competently, confidently and proficiently over a distance of at least 25 metres
- use a range of strokes effectively [for example, front crawl, backstroke and breaststroke]
- perform safe self-rescue in different water-based situation
With 1 in 10 children facing the possibility of sitting on the sideline during swimming, Swimseal is helping make a splash about this issue, so kids across the UK can benefit from this life-saving lesson.
*Based on flucloxacillin as the antibiotic of choice for children as it comes as an easier to consume syrup rather than a tablet – costing £21.87 per 100ml.