With just about everyone on vacation, the heat still plays a major role. In the bathroom, chlorine pools may cause some allergic reactions in small children.
Chlorine is a substance used to disinfect water, such as swimming pools or drinking water sources, because of its oxidizing properties and ability to kill pathogens in the water.
But it’s this disinfecting ability that makes it a rather irritating compound and triggers allergic reactions.
Its effects can be felt on the respiratory tract and on the skin, either because of too much chlorine in the pool, because the child spends a lot of time in contact with the water, or because the skin itself is sensitive.
The Spanish Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy and the Spanish Society of Clinical Immunology explain: “In general, children are always the most affected, because they spend a lot of time in water and, moreover, their skin is more delicate and sensitive than adults. “Pediatric Asthma (SEICAP).
What does chlorine do to my child’s skin?
Chlorine and pollutants (sweat, face cream residue, perfume, saliva, dead skin, etc.) that swimmers themselves put into the water can irritate the skin of young children.
One of the main consequences of this irritation is the appearance of eczema. Specifically, “this is usually a flexural eczema, that is, it appears in areas of skin that have folds,” explains the SEICAP pediatrician.
The areas most affected by this type of eczema are the areas behind the knees, in front of the elbows, the groin area, the armpits, the creases of the neck or eyelids, and in women, the underside of the breasts.
Not all parts of the body respond in the same way, and certain parts are more sensitive and more susceptible to these stimuli. One of the particularly sensitive areas is the cornea of the eye. Often, it turns red after exposure to chlorine, indicating irritation is occurring.
What should I do if a chlorine reaction or irritation occurs?
Well, prior to these reactions to chlorine, whether allergic or not, there are different ways to act depending on which part of the body is damaged.
In the event of respiratory symptoms associated with exposure to chlorinated water, experts say it is wisest to “follow the treatment prescribed by a pediatric allergist in children who have already been diagnosed with asthma and allergic rhinitis.”
They added: “In the absence of evidence of any type of allergy and respiratory problems in children following pool swimming, a consultation with a pediatrician is recommended to evaluate each case.”
As for eye irritation, it must be dealt with immediately to reduce the baby’s discomfort. “If your child’s allergist pediatrician prescribes rescue medication, usually an antihistamine, oral medication, or eye drops, then we treat it as quickly as possible. Cold compresses and saline washes can also help relieve itching.
Finally, for skin lesions such as eczema, oral antihistamines can be used to relieve itching. Also, it is important to use a moisturizer to restore the skin.
Tips for Preventing Chlorine Allergies
Even though summer bath days are few and far between, many children still use swimming pools as an after-school activity during the school year, which is why SEICAP offers a series of recommendations for avoiding chlorine-derived problems in children during the summer. winter:
Apply moisturizer to your child before and after exposure to chlorine.
Shower before and after bathing. This is critical because the skin must be ensured to enter the pool water as cleanly as possible, and residual chlorine and other agents must also be removed upon exiting.
Avoid prolonged baths as much as possible.
Put on your swimming goggles. This reduces the chance of direct eye exposure to chlorine.