Parents wishing to swim with their new baby may need to take a deep breath before plunging into the kiddie pool. Studies by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Norwegian Institute of Public Health reveal that babies who participate in infant swimming lessons are more likely to suffer from asthma and other lung-related ailments later in life. Researchers believe that chlorine-related gases may damage young lungs before they are fully developed.
Eliminating chlorine from pools altogether has proven difficult (especially at community pools where state regulations demand it), but a few alternatives can reduce the need for excessive amounts of chemicals. Ionized saltwater pools still create chlorine to kill bacteria, but the process relies on a more natural chemical reaction than traditional tablet-released chlorine. Ozone treatment and UV-light radiation can also sanitize pool water successfully. If these aren’t accessible options, choose outdoor pools as often as possible to increase the flow of fresh air to baby’s tender lungs. For a list of low-chlorine pools in the US and around the world, check out www.piscinasana.blogspot.com.