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A TV news program transmitted on Monday 23, January 2006, at 8 p.m., in Argentina, casted images supposedly related to Matroswimming ™ method together with serious statistic report from Belgium warning on long run prejudicial effects on primary school children who have been taken swim classes since earlier than 2 years old, in indoor poorly aired pools and scarce hygiene conditions on the part of the users (therefore, sweat and urine plus chlorine in the water generated a harmful mixture prejudicial to young swimmers´ health). However, the scientific report came from Belgium and no reference was made neither to Argentina nor to Matroswimming.

The news was accompanied by images that had been shot some years ago where Dr. Patricia Cirigliano was teaching babies in the First Argentine Swim School for Babies which has been created and run by her since 1960.

No explanation can be found to such lack of information. Kilometres of lines have been written on Matroswimming™, the original Argentine method applied locally and in several countries around the world (not particularly in Belgium). Besides, over 14,400 babies have learnt to swim; some even belong to second generation of swimmer babies, all of whom have been controlled and certified by well know pediatricians who can testify as to their welfare.


Matroswimming is an Argentine original method with its own theoretical framework, created in 1960 and which bears no similitude to other method whatsoever. It does not include structure elements, found in other systems or methods, other than those belonging to our philosophy and professional doctrine, which has been coherent over the last 46 years and fully in accordance with pediatric family standards and controls present in our School and covering over 14,000 children who received benefits and no injury.

Matroswimming is a holistic method that not only encompasses the family as a totality but also the multiple didactic aspects together with the environment within which they take place. Matroswimming teachers have the pedagogic responsibility and the ethical commitment to take care of their students´ health, the water, surrounding space, didactic material and general organization.

It must be mentioned, the important role of high level Argentine pediatricians who have constantly controlled their patients who are our students. Over 46 years no adverse situation has taken place regarding children’s health in our First Argentine Swim School for Babies. Therefore, family pediatricians have certified their patients´ good condition for decades. Besides, Matroswimming has been endorsed as an ideal activity as from childbirth up to 12 months old by the National Pediatric Program 1999.(See PRONAP 99).

Matroswimming is a healthy activity for babies

The facts described by the Belgium report cannot be compared to our reality. Matroswimming is a method that, besides its specific pedagogic applications, requires adequate facilities that comply with strict environmental demands such as the First Argentine Swim School for Babies.

Condition of the First Swim School for Babies facilities:

Natural ventilation and turbo-ventilation.
Sliding transparent roof that allows open-air classes.
Wide windows with garden view.
Water heating circuit.
Strict hygiene and temperature control in every room: reception, dressing room, toilette, shower room, pool area and hair-drying room.
Optimum pool water condition maintained through the following process:

a) 24 hrs. continuous water filtering going through 90 degrees heater.
b) Temperature control to keep 32 degrees constantly.
c) Air and water quality control through official laboratory analysis.
d) Ph and chlorine level pool daily control.
e) First line chemical products in order to keep water purity.

Rules observed in our School:

Medical control of children certified by the family pediatrician.
Medical control of both parents by the School Medical Department.
Exclusive use of the pool by parents and their children (as from 15 days old to 5 years old).
Previous shower (with water and soap) required to enter the pool.
More information on the School in:


Even though the report ends by suggesting that negative effects could be diminished by improving users´ hygienic conditions, in our opinion there are other issues to be taken into account. Exclusively by comparing directly applied teaching system features and resulting psychosomatic effects it can be understood why chlorinated water may be infected with organic waste up to such a dangerous level.

It must be noted that in most states within the European Community rules expressly forbid kids to enter swimming pools naked and set forth the need to wear swim-suits with elastic adjustment around the legs and the waist in order to avoid organic particles, as a consequence of an “involuntary accident”, getting into contact with the water. On the contrary, our pupils are naked and laboratory analyses show that no such “accident” takes place; therefore, the pool remains crystal clear.

Furthermore, cultural uses together with the high cost of water and water shortages account for the inadequate, or total lack of, previous shower.

It can clearly be seen that the report originated in Belgium does not apply to our reality.

Unfortunately, kids included in the Belgium report were compelled to swim since very young, according to the report, in indoor pools, poorly ventilated, and in contaminated water (due to sweat and urine mixed with chlorine) which gave place to rarefied air in the pool area. Those hazards coupled with incorrect swimmers´ hygiene (mentioned in the report) and the obviously poor water filtering, renewal and chlorination (that the report suggests must be improved in order to diminish prejudicial effects) certainly cannot be healthy for children.

Said report also shows, according to objective statistics, presumed unhealthy conditions in most European indoor pools due to lack of ventilation. Considering raw weather external conditions, the indoor closed environments with chlorinated water are characterized by unpleasant and uncomfortable working conditions that can be observed by ordinary people, not to mention researchers.

The aggravated circumstances regarding vulnerable kids when they attend classes in pools with deficient environment and poor hygiene, generally without pediatric controls, have been mentioned in my speeches during international world congresses when I was summoned to present our holistic Matroswimming method.

To get more information:


Soldado de la Independencia 1352 (1426) Ciudad Autónoma de Buenos Aires
Teléfonos: (54)(11) 4785.5565 / (54)(11) 4783.3976
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