Can my baby go swimming before or after vaccinations?

You can take your baby swimming at any age, both before and after they have been vaccinated. It doesn't matter if they haven't completed their course of vaccinations yet.

Some leisure facilities may suggest that babies shouldn't go swimming until they have had all of their jabs. However, this advice probably dates back to when polio was common and people were concerned it could spread in busy places such as public swimming pools. According to the National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC), there hasn't been a case of polio since 1993 after a UK traveller acquired polio in India.

The Department of Health recommends that you can take your baby swimming from a very young age. There is no need to wait until they have been vaccinated.

Vaccine side effects

Sometimes babies experience side effects after a vaccination. These are generally quite mild and should not prevent you taking your baby swimming. However, babies who are feverish or irritable in the days or weeks after vaccination may not feel up to swimming for a few days, so you may prefer to wait.

Read the answers to more questions about vaccinations.

Further information:

Page last reviewed: 11/11/2012

Next review due: 10/11/2014