Apart from red eyes and dry hair, the chemicals in chlorine and saltwater pools can affect children’s’ health. We explain 3 ways to minimise chemical exposure.
Swimming isn’t just a healthy way for kids to stay active and break away from technology – even if just for a moment! Learning to swim and feel confident in water is essential to development. Sydney Morning Herald recently reported that only 25% of children stay in swim classes long enough to learn the baseline skills. While added chemicals might seem superfluous in light of survival, the effects of chlorine, such as deeper-lying respiratory impacts, are real. We’ve listed 3 tips to minimise chemicals in and out of the pool, which can take a larger toll on tiny bodies.
1. Wash off products before jumping in
It’s no secret that chlorinated water wreaks havoc on hair and skin, making you reach for the moisturiser, but this can lead to far more severe health issues, especially in kids. Chlorinated pools release chloramines – toxic compounds formed when chlorine mixes with sunscreen, moisturiser, urine and sweat. Chloramines form the distinct chlorine smell at indoor pools and can lead to wheezing, coughing and asthma. There are several products in the market designed to remove the chemicals which chlorinated pools leave on skin, though we recommend minimising exposure to chlorine.
2. Ensure your local swimming pool is well ventilated
As you don’t have to swim in a pool to experience the effects of chlorine, ensure your local pool is well ventilated to reduce chemicals breathed in. Although harder in winter, outdoor undercover pools are a good choice in summer.
3. Switch to fresh water
The most effective way to reduce the effects of chemicals is to stay out of them. While adding salt beats chemicals, salt water pools still convert salt to chlorine, and many ‘green alternatives’ in the market like magnesium pools (another label for salt water chlorination) are still chemical based.
The reality is, most public pools contain chlorine and if your child is learning to swim, chlorine is difficult to completely escape from. Instead, think of reducing the impact of chlorine and chemicals at home. Enviroswim is a fresh water swimming pool system that removes added chlorine and chemicals out of the pool, so kids can swim in fresh and pure water at home. It also minimises chemical derivatives.