Over the last few weeks the weather has warmed up considerably and the promise of hot summer days is just around the corner – hurrah! That means outdoor swimming and weekend water park trips… okay maybe we’re getting ahead of ourselves here, but swimming is a super fun activity for children, especially in the summer. Not only is a fun activity but it’s great for exercise and family bonding, the only downside are the health risks connected to swimming pool chemicals, that’s just a buzz kill.
Many parents are a little nervous about sending their children to a place where red eyes, dry itchy skin and green hair are common side effects of going for a dip in the local pool. Doctors like Doctor Joseph Mercola have been talking about the list of serious ailments connected to chlorinated water for many years:
“Your body absorbs more chlorine, and more importantly disinfection byproducts (DBPs) [such as chloramine], by swimming in a chlorinated pool than you would by drinking tap water for one week. Disinfection byproducts are far more serious than chlorine. They form when the chlorine in your pool water reacts with organic matter such as skin and hair.”
While indoor swimming pool chemicals won’t seriously harm your children, there are certainly a number of health problems that are linked to the chlorinated water including:
- Hormone disruption
- Asthma and allergies
- Gut flora imbalance
However there are many cheap and easy ways to help protect your kids against swimming pool chemicals:
1. Swim outdoors
Ventilation, never a bad thing. Also many outdoor pools use salt water, UV or ionization instead of the regular chemicals used to maintain an indoor pool.
2. Rinse before swimming
Did you know that if your kids rinse before they swim it could help to protect them against absorbing the pool chemicals through their skin. A chemical compound called chloramine forms when chlorine reacts with ammonia from sweat. Showering before swimming can remove excess sweat that interacts with chlorine, reducing formation of chloramine on the skin.
3. Coconut Oil
A family favourite for pretty much everything. Putting coconut oil on your child’s body before swimming could provide the skin with an extra layer of protection.
4. Topical Vitamin C
The chemical structure of vitamin c neutralizes chlorine and chloramine. Spray a mixture of powdered vitamin c and water on to your child post swim and rinse in the shower. You can buy topical vitamin c spray online, or make your own.