It’s summer and the right time to take your baby out for its first dip in the pool. While this seems to be a good idea, it comes with its own set of risks and side effects. Here are a few things you should keep in mind.
Things to Consider For Your Baby’s First Pool Outing
Even though a public pool looks clean on the surface, there is always the risk of allergic reactions including diarrhea, rashes, and fever, in your little one, caused by bacteria and parasites present in the water. In severe cases, your baby could also develop gastroenteritis or eye and ear infections.
When To Take Your Baby For That First Dip
Babies have very sensitive skin and the chlorine in the pool water may harm it. Besides, your baby’s immune system is much weaker than yours and is still developing. Pediatricians across the world advise you not to take an infant younger than one to a public pool, so check with your doctor before you take it for a swim.
How Public Pools Can Become Contaminated For Your Little Ones
Here are some ways in which the water in your public pool can be infected:
- Sweat, saliva and open sores can be major causes of contamination,
- Most people have traces of feces in their bottoms, which, when washed off in the swimming pool water, can lead to diarrhea.
- Another dangerous parasite that is often found in swimming pool waters is cryptosporidium, which can stay active in a chlorinated pool for up to seven days. Babies are particularly prone to catching the parasite and getting affected by severe forms of diarrhea and gastrointestinal diseases.
How To Check If The Water Is Clean
According to the Centers for Disease Control, before you decide to take your baby out for a dip, make sure to take the water test.
- You should be able to look all the way to the bottom of the pool. If the water is lapping over grills in a constant motion, it means filtration is on, which is a good sign.
- Touch the side of the pool and see if it is sticky or smooth. If it is sticky, it means that the water is not clean.
- Chlorine does not have a very strong smell, but once it gets contaminated with sweat, saliva, urine or feces, it does give off a strong odor. If you can sense a strong smell that you think is chlorine, it is better to avoid taking your baby in the pool.