Summer’s already here and what better way to cool than to jump in the pool and learn how to swim simultaneously. Swimming is an excellent form of low-impact cardiovascular exercise which helps your little one to develop strong bones and muscles, promotes flexibility and coordination, develop self confidence and all the more fun and enjoyment. I specially enjoy that sound sleep that comes afterwards 😉
But as most of you would know that the swimming pool water is treated with chlorine and increased exposure to chlorinated water can be harmful for children. In today’s post, we will discuss about the precautions to take before and after swimming to minimize the effect of chlorinated water on child’s skin and hair.
First things first, why is swimming water chlorinated?
The water in the swimming pool can get contaminated due to several reasons like dust and debris, rain water which might contain algae spores or by humans through sweating, saliva, urine etc. Chlorine comes to the rescue to maintain the hygiene level of water by preventing the buildup of bacteria and wiping out the germs and microorganisms; thereby, making the water fit for human use.
But the chlorinated water when comes into contact with skin and hair for a long time can make it dry due to the depletion of natural oils. You might also notice allergic rashes or itching and since kids are more sensitive to these chemicals, they need some extra care.
Prefer using a polyester swim suits instead of nylon or spandex as they offer better protection against chlorine and are more durable. I prefer to use a full body swimsuit for my little one specially for her weekly classes.
- Quick shower
Taking a quick shower/rinsing with fresh water before swimming helps the body against absorbing harmful chemicals and also prevents the chlorine from settling on the hair. Chloramine is formed when chlorine reacts with sweat or ammonia (in urine) and it greatly reduces the disinfection power of chlorine thereby causing the redness in eyes, irritation in respiratory systems etc. So, taking shower before swimming also helps against the formation of chloramine.
- Coconut oil massage
I prefer to massage my little one with coconut oil, maybe half-an-hour before swimming as coconut oil forms an acidic layer and prevents the skin and hair from the bacteria and chemicals that might be in the pool.
Then the sunscreen, specially meant for children comes handy. Make sure to pick one with zinc oxide or titanium dioxide and apply 30 minutes before swimming. Since I already massage with coconut oil, I prefer to use a full bodywear swimsuit and sunscreen only for face and foot (the areas which are exposed to sunlight).
- Swim cap
For hair, I also prefer to use a swim cap for that extra layer of protection against chlorinated water.
- Swim goggles
For eyes, we use the anti-fog goggles for the clear vision and to prevent the chlorinated water from entering the eyes.
- Keep the body hydrated by drinking lots of water before swimming.
[Read: Flying with a baby/toddler]
- First and foremost, ALWAYS rinse the body with fresh water immediately after swimming. This helps in getting rid of the harmful chemicals from the pool, some people prefer mixing Vitamin C powder with water and rinsing the body and hair with it as it helps with the odour of the chlorinated water that remains in the body for long.
- Wash the hair with a shampoo that has neutral pH as it helps in removing chlorine from the hair.
- Water tends to remove natural oils from the skin making it dry and itchy. So, always apply a generous amount of natural moisturizers/baby oil to prevent the dryness.
- Keep the body hydrated by making them drink lots and lots of water.
“You are only one swim away for a good mood!”