When children eat before coming to swimming lessons, especially scoffing food as they run into the building, this can lead to unfortunate circumstances where we are forced to close to the pool due to an accident in the water. The last thing we want to do is close the pool down and cancel lessons for everyone else. Unfortunately, this has become a regular occurrence as of late. Therefore we ask that your child is not to eat less than an hour before their lesson.

When we eat right before we swim, our stomach is trying to digest the food while we exercise. For the body to be able to digest the food, it must direct blood to the stomach to aid digestion. When we exercise, blood then gets directed to the muscles. If the food is half digested, or not digested properly, this can lead to your child having cramps in their stomach, nausea or vomiting in the water. This is the same as when we feel sick with fear, the fight-or-flight response kicks in, and directs blood to the muscles, leading to the sick feeling in your stomach.

Studies have been conducted to find out more regarding if whether eating or drinking too much before we exercise can have an effect and lead to the dreaded ‘stitch’. What was discovered was that the stomach bloats, which was even more likely after having juice.

Regardless of the cramps & stitches your child can get while exercising after eating, the last thing we want is your child to feel sick in the water, not only because it could lead to them vomiting in the water, but also because no one wants their child to be feeling sick! It is not a good feeling at all.

In order to combat this, we ask that you do not let your child eat less than an hour before their lesson. We appreciate your cooperation with this, and hopefully we will not have to close the pool again in the near future due to a sick-related accident.

If you have any concerns regarding this, please let us know:
[email protected]

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Jacob Garrod works for AUT Millennium Swim School and the Schools Programme. He started back in February 2015 and teaches from Breather Level right through to Development Two. Whilst working part time, he is also in the home stretch of completing his Bachelor of Business Degree at Massey University in Albany. Jacob learned to swim aged three, and became a competitive swimmer at the age of 7. He continued right through until 22, clocking up 15 years in the sport. He specialised in breaststroke and has represented New Zealand on the international level, attending two Oceania Championships in 2014 and 2016, where he managed to get five medals - three gold, and two silver. Jacob also attended the 2014 Youth Olympic Games, in Nanjing, China, and the 2017 World University Games, in Taipei, Taiwan. Jacob attended multiple National Championships where he managed to get medals throughout the years, from junior level, to age group level, right through to open level.