NHS bill for swimming infections

It is always recommended that we teach our children to swim because it could be a life-saver.


But those lessons come at a hefty cost to the NHS, research reveals.

And that’s because £1.3m will be spent on medicine alone this year to treat contaminated water that causes ear infections in young swimmers. When factoring in doctor’s time the amount doubles to £2.47m.

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Based on 598,370 local primary age children swimming on a regular basis, 10 per cent will be prone to painful ear infections caused by contaminated trapped water in the ear canal. An infection of this type will need a course of antibiotics, costing over £20 per 100ml.

The research was carried out by SwimSeal, a manufacturer of eardrops aimed at preventing such infections in the first place. The infection known as otitis externa or swimmer’s ear can be either bacterial or fungal.