Asthma And Swimming
Parents can worry that their children’s asthma may get in the way of swimming, but this form of exercise can make their breathing a little more comfortable.
Go to the British Swimming zone for more on Asthma and Competitive SwimmingDid you know that Olympic gold medallists Rebecca Adlington and Adrian Moorhouse have asthma? Well, they do!
There’s no reason why almost all people with asthma shouldn’t go swimming and there is no evidence that recreational swimming can make your child’s asthma worse.
In fact, the warm, humid atmosphere in swimming pools makes some asthmatics' breathing more comfortable. Just remember to always take an inhaler such as salbutamol (Ventolin) with you.
Asthma and swimming guidance
- If the condition of the water in your local pool is bad, it may irritate your child’s lungs. A poor pH balance or the use of too much disinfectant may bring on symptoms. The hygiene habits of other bathers and the standard of the water treatment plant, operation and maintenance may also be factors.
- If there are strong and unpleasant smells that persist for about three minutes of being in the pool area, tell management and get out. Do not take babies or young children into the pool, as their lungs are delicate.
- You may want to wait until your child is three or four years old before introducing them to the water. We have produced more general advice on swimming with babies here.
- Bather hygiene also plays a part so ensure your children’s bodies are clean before going into the water. Also, remind them that it is a swimming pool and not a toilet, so if nature calls ensure they know what to do.
- If your child has an asthma attack in the pool, get them out and give them their reliever inhaler immediately. If the situation fails to improve quickly make the lifeguard or nearest member of staff aware and ask them to help.