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Is it true that it's unsafe for children to swim right after eating?

Is it true that it's unsafe for children to swim right after eating?



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No. Swimming immediately after eating isn't dangerous, but it could result in uncomfortable stomach cramps.

Parents have long advised children to wait at least 30 minutes after eating before going back into the water. You may have been told that's because swimming with a full stomach can cause severe cramps and lead to drowning. But there's no evidence to support such a warning.

After eating, the body directs blood to the stomach to help with digestion, so it's conceivable – though unlikely – that swimming with a full stomach will cause cramps. But contrary to popular belief, a painful stomach cramp doesn't make people drown.

The American Red Cross recommends using common sense when it comes to swimming after eating. Wait until your child is comfortable before letting him go back in the water.

Engaging in strenuous activity right after eating can lead to cramps, nausea, and vomiting. And if he's sluggish or tired after chowing down, it won't hurt to let him rest first.

Find out more about water safety for babies, toddlers, preschoolers, and big kids.


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