The months of May and June are primarily known for two things in India. One the scorching summer heat and two schools closing for summer break. What better way to beat the heat than taking a dip in the pool? Not to forget that it can be an excellent time-pass for your kids. 

Watching your little ones playing and splashing around in water is a fun sight and not one you’d like to miss. But can there be something all mothers need to know. Sadly swimming and breathing troubles can go hand in hand.

The chlorine levels found in neighbourhood and public pools are generally kept a little high in order to keep other infections at bay. But this can lead to breathing problems in swimmers according to latest research. In fact breathing problems can show up even when chlorine levels are low. Experienced swimmers too experience symptoms of Broncho-constriction, difficulty in breathing, commonly known as exercise-induced asthma.
Chlorine is a necessity to keep the pool clean, but can it really be branded the culprit? Let’s find out.

In a study done by researchers in US, 20 trained swimmers with no history of exercise-induced asthma and 21 swimmers with a history of exercise-induced asthma were used a subjects for the following four exercise tests, maintaining all the other parameters same:

  • Swimming in an indoor pool with no chlorine in the water
  • Swimming in a chlorinated pool with low levels of chlorine (as in very professionally managed pools in hotels)
  • Swimming in a chlorinated pool with high levels of chlorine (neighborhood pools, public pools)

After exercise, researchers used a machine to test the airflow to lungs to analyze restriction of airflow in the airways. The study showed that-

  • 60% of the participants, with no history of Broncho-constriction suffered from airway constriction after swimming in the highly chlorinated pool
  • 20% people suffered from airway constriction after swimming in the low- or no-chlorine pool.

So this analysis should be a word of caution for all moms whose children want to spend their entire summer break cooling off in the pool. 

Before sending off your child to swim, you must 
  • Monitor the chlorine level in the pool
  • Keep a tab on the time your child spends in the pool, especially if your child has a medical history of breathing problems
  • Never leave him/her unattended in the pool
  • Keep his/her medicine ready in case of an emergency

Moderation is the way to go to keep most of our life’s problems away. Same principle should apply to your kid’s play time in the pool too!