Monday, June 11, 2007

Swimming Bad for Infants' Lungs?

Just saw this article in the ALA Weekly Breather, which I rarely get to read anymore. It's so good, though -- I highly recommend that newsletter to all parents of asthmatic kids.

Anyway, here's the article. Have to say I'm not a big fan of teaching anyone younger than 3 to swim -- no one that unstable walking should be near a pool without a vigilant grownup nearby anyway!!

Infant Swimming: Chlorine Lung Risk?...WebMD Medical News reported on June 4, 2007 that infant swimming lessons may lead to problems with children's lung development and possibly make asthma more likely, a new study suggests. The researchers included Alfred Bernard, PhD, of the public health department at Catholic University of Louvain in Brussels, Belgium. They studied 341 Belgian schoolchildren who were about 11 years old, on average. The children provided blood samples and had their lung health tested. Bernard's team noted that 43 of the children had taken infant swimming lessons in indoor pools. The researchers also noted other lung health hazards, including maternal smoking during pregnancy and exposure to secondhand smoke. The lungs of children who had had infant swimming lessons appeared to be predisposed to developing asthma and recurrent bronchitis, according to the study, which appears in Pediatrics.

For the full article: click here.


Chrysa said...

My oldest child (now 13) was encouraged to swim at 4 because she was pre-asthmatic. Swimming was the only exercise she could do without wheezing. She had started lessons at 2 in a Mommy and Me class. She now swims AND dives competitively and spends maybe 15 hours a week in an indoor pool. She's been symptom-free for years and off meds for at least 5 years.

Aimee said...

I'm signing my two older guys up next week, actually. My parents have a pool, and they need to know how to AT LEAST tread water.

I can't imagine that ALL asthmatics are affected by chlorine, but let's be clear: The stuff is toxic. It's not good for anyone to breathe! We're basically swimming in bleach!