How early can you take a baby swimming in a chlorine pool?
My son is 8 weeks old and now fits into his little swimmers he loves baths so we wanted to take him swimming in the heated pool in our apartment complex. Its a chlorine pool, would it be safe to take him swimming now?
Thanks in advance
The biggest study on chlorine, especially indoor chlorine pools, suggest that it's wisest to wait until 2 years old in order to avoid lung damage that can lead to breathing issues like asthma. 3 months is the VERY earliest because that's when they get their first set of shots, but according to the most recent research connecting asthma and allergies to indoor chlorinated pools the under 7 crowd is the most susceptible to damage, with 2-3 years old being a good age since the baby is less likely to breathe in the water as much as a couple of months old.
Now, if the heated pool is an OUTDOOR pool, then you may be able to take him in there and just keep his head out of the water, and make sure he doesn't get too cold. Otherwise, you might consider just getting a baby-wading pool and sitting in there with him and playing in the water like that. Then you can make sure the water is clean every time you use it.
But I wouldn't take him in an indoor chlorinated pool. There's just too much evidence against it right now.
Add: These reports about the dangers of chlorine have been substantiated by several different studies. The warnings about chlorine in pools really have only been around since 2009 or so, not much longer than that. Before then, the biggest danger was seen as infection of the lung, throat and mouth (though they weren't sure why) and that as long as the baby got all their shots then they should be protected. Now it's understood that it's also connected to the chlorine.
No one is saying not to take a baby swimming from an early age really, but to avoid indoor chlorinated pools if at all possible, and avoid heavily chlorinated outdoor pools. With babies, it's not like they NEED to be in a large pool to swim or to have fun, and a wading pool is usually enough while it also gives a safe alternative. Talking as a long-distance, life-time swimmer (I was in the pool at 3 months) I learned to float in the bath and then in wading pools. (And yes... I have asthma AND severe allergies that are connected to chlorine. I have to wonder if things would be easier for me, not having to take pills every single day, if it had been put off a few years.) You don't have to have a big pool to learn the starting of swimming or enjoy it, and then move to big pools when the dangers are less.
Baby Swimming Survival Video