Should You Let Your Infant Swim In An Indoor Pool?

In Belgium, a new research has found that infants who use indoor pools for swimming have a higher tendency of suffering from bronchitis and asthma as compared to their counterparts who don’t swim in indoor pools. The results of this research were published in June in Pediatrics, official journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

So, researchers are of the opinion that this is a good reason for parents not to allow their infants use indoor pools for swimming. The data collected by Belgian researchers suggest that the chlorinated water of indoor pools changes the air passages of an infant swimmer. This and some other factors appear to be responsible for making the children face a risk of suffering from asthma and recurrent bouts of bronchitis.

For this research, blood samples of 341 Belgian school children whose age varied between 10 and 13 years were collected.

Apart from studying these samples, lung tests were also carried on these children. The results showed that lung function of those infants who used indoor pools for swimming was poor. These children even faced a higher possibility of suffering from recurrent bronchitis and asthma.

In this study, trichloramine was found to be the main culprit. Usually, indoor pools use this byproduct of chlorine. It is trichloramine that gives the pool water a distinct smell of chlorine. Trichloramine is considered to be one of the most dangerous air pollutants in concentrated form. In developed countries, children are exposed to this venom on a regular basis.

This study has asserted that trichloramine and some other chlorine-based oxidants in aerosolized form can be held responsible for changing air passages that make children vulnerable to recurrent bouts of bronchitis and asthma at a later stage. The researchers have encouraged people to study more on the matter and find possible ways to regulate the quality of air in the indoor pools.

Outdoor pools were not considered in this study. However, remember to check the ventilation of your indoor pool before jumping into the water. Some pools will surely have better facility to air out the gases than others. The trick is to find one such pool to enjoy swimming indoors.