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Exposure to Chlorinated Swimming Pools Could Increase Asthma Risk in Children

n countries.

"Our data suggest that infant swimming practice in chlorinated indoor swimming pools is associated with airways changes that, along with other factors, seem to predispose children to the development of asthma and recurrent bronchitis,'' the study's authors concluded.

Developed countries also tend to have more chlorinated swimming pools.

Professor Peter van Asperen, head of respiratory medicine at The Children's Hospital at Westmead, Australia, said parents shouldn't panic at the findings.

"It is an important issue to be aware of,'' he said.

"There may be potential for chemicals to affect the risk of respiratory diseases but the message for Australians is there is much more risk from indoor pools than outdoor pools.''

He said swimming was traditionally recommended for asthmatic children because it tended not to trigger exercise-induced attacks as much as other sports, such as running.

Mosman mum Caroline Jane encourages her two young children to swim but generally avoids indoor pools.

"I had asthma as a child and I remember it always used to get worse when I went swimming at the pool,'' she said.

"My children are big swimmers - they normally swim at our (home) pool or at the beach.

"I think limited chlorine pool exposure is best.''

Her children Saskia, 4, and Hugo, 2, do not have asthma.


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