Verify: Do you have to wait 30 minutes after eating to go swimming?

Verify: do you really need to wait a half hour after eating before swimming

AKRON - You may have heard the warning at a young age to wait at least 30 minutes before jumping into the pool after eating.

“My dad told me to wait at least 30 minutes before swimming because of cramps,” said Jack Callahan, 10, of Stow.

The warning is still used today with some citing the risk of cramping and drowning. But is it a myth? 

We asked Dr. Sarah Adams, a pediatrician with Akron Children’s Hospital, to clarify whether it’s necessary to wait.

“There’s nothing wrong with taking a little break, giving your tummy a little time to digest. But in reality, it’s okay to be active,” said Adams.

In general, there is no evidence to suggest that swimming within an hour of eating is dangerous or linked to drowning.

Adams said there is a small chance that recreational swimming on a full stomach can cause discomfort, and some children may choose to wait to get into the water for other health reasons.

“The little child who tends to reflux a lot, you might want to let him wait at least 15-20 minutes.” 

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