Pools: Ease in or Dunk

One of the main problems faced with when first getting into a swimming pool is the temperature change and it usually leads to people making a decision of either taking a while to acclimatize by easing themselves in or just getting the sudden chill over and done with by "dunking" themselves (or diving) in one go.

From what I can observe, children seem to be pretty resilient to the dunk method, they can bounce back pretty quick. While older people might prefer to ease in slowly.

I rationalized that there is a very good reason for being more cautious as we get older due to shock.

The sudden submergence into colder water can actually put the body into shock (It's one of the main concerns during ship evacuations if people end up in the sea/ocean) Shock in this instance seems to be the difference between the ambient temperature that the body is use to and what it lowers to when placed into water.

One thing the body does when it gets cold is increase the heart rate to aid in regulating body temperature by speeding up the circulation of blood (the same thing occurs when a persons hands goes red in the cold). This implies that as we get older such shocks could put us at risk if we suffer from any underlining heart or blood conditions.

Further to that, if a person has been sunbathing prior they might well be sunburnt, that increases the surface temperature of the skin when outside of water, so getting in a cold pool means feeling a greater difference in temperature than if not sunburnt. So theres a chance that being sunburnt can increase the chances of shock.

While children might be resilient to the dunk method, it doesn't make them impervious, so it's a good idea to keep in mind that if it's too cold they could start suffering things associated with shock.

(On a side note:
I considered these points while using a pool in Florida, while the weather is over 80°F the pool certainly wasn't. I decided to test it out since I haven't swam properly in decades and admittedly was a bit nervous. I needed to "remember" how to because of future personal goals, so had been waiting for the right time to come along and have a go. While I managed to reduce my fears of forgetting howto swim [although my swimming strength is not on par with my youth] I still noticed signs of shock from the water temperature initially such as elevated heart rate, so considered as to why that was. That's why the observation [coupled with a news story a few months ago involving a father and his two children in a pool mysteriously drowning]
I don’t frequent pools or beaches much these days. I wonder though, if you were to push me into a cold patch of water and I died because of the heart shock, could you be charged minimally with manslaughter?

I used to scuba and what I remember most is the feeling you get when you enter the water wearing a wetsuit. The initial temperature shock is not as severe plus very temporary and in no time the body warms that thin layer of water between the skin and the suit. Along with insulation there’s the bonus of buoyancy also. If anything, I’ve done more snorkelling using the wetsuit than any recreational water sport and it goes with me every time. Should provide wetsuits in case of emergency on water vessels if only to counter the temperature shock.

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