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Ask the Pediatrician

Dr. Jennifer Shu and her team of pediatricians answer your health questions.

Dr. Jennifer Shu

Question & Answer

Question

Are the chemicals in swimming pools a health concern?

Answer

‚ÄčChemicals used in pools are irritating to eyes, skin, and upper and lower airways. Exposures may also be associated with development of asthma in predisposed atopic children.

Children who swim or work frequently in poorly ventilated indoor pools may be at higher risk. Swimming is a popular and healthy form of exercise for children.

Showering before swimming to remove organic matter (eg, sweat, dirt, and lotions) which can react with pool chemicals to form chloramines helps to prevent their formation. Proper disinfection practices and ventilation will reduce exposure.

Source: Pediatric Environmental Health, 3rd Edition (Copyright © American Academy of Pediatrics 2011)