What about red eyes after swimming?

Exposure to chlorine may leave your child with red or puffy eyes. To ease discomfort and reduce redness after swimming, rinse your child's eyes with a sterile eyewash or an artificial tears solution. To prevent red or puffy eyes, encourage your child to wear goggles while swimming.

What's the best age to begin swimming lessons?

Many kids learn to ride a bike and to swim on their own at the same age — often the summer before kindergarten. The American Academy of Pediatrics supports swimming lessons for most children age 4 and older. If you choose to enroll a child younger than age 4 in a swimming program, pick one that doesn't require placing his or her head underwater. This will limit the amount of water your child may swallow.

Can children swim when they're sick or have cuts and scrapes?

It's fine for children who have colds or other minor illnesses to swim, as long as they feel well enough to do so. Likewise, it's OK for children to swim with cuts and scrapes — as long as the wounds aren't bleeding.

What about swimming after eating?

It's OK to swim immediately after a light meal or snack. If your child feels lethargic after eating a heavy meal, however, encourage him or her to take a break before swimming.

Are hot tubs safe for children?

Children can quickly become overheated in a hot tub or spa. If you allow your child to use a hot tub or spa, keep the visit brief — and don't allow your child to put his or her head underwater. This can increase the risk of ear infections. Far worse, long hair can get caught in an uncovered hot tub grate and cause drowning. Remember, too, that children in diapers shouldn't use a hot tub or spa.

May. 25, 2011 See more In-depth