In Canada, one child in 10 has asthma, and the condition becomes more common, especially at a very early age. Asthma may impact children’s lives significantly, and to control the symptoms, families need o to understand the causes, triggers and what symptoms to watch. What about swimming? Parents with children have many questions on the mind like: Is swimming good for asthma? Can swimming worsen asthma? Is the saltwater pool better for asthma?
Swimming and children with asthma
Although there is little evidence suggesting a direct relation between swimming and asthma, meaning swimming by itself cannot prevent or create/worsen asthma, studies are showing the benefits of swimming to children with asthma. Why does the type of water matters to children with asthma? Is the saltwater pool better for asthma?
Children with asthma experience more challenge in keeping their lives active because symptom triggers can cause coughing or shortness of breath. Experts recommend swimming as one of the best alternatives for children with asthma; swimming strengthens lung function, humid air helps to keep airways open and regulate breathing.
Swimming creates a comfortable environment for a child with asthma, a humid environment to exercise. Swimming helps children to gain confidence, develop muscles, expand lung capacity and control their breathing.
Before moving to the question “Is the saltwater pool better for asthma?”, let’s go through many benefits swimming provides to children.
Swimming is one of the best exercise alternatives for all children of all ages because:
- It improves coordination and balance
- Strengthens heart and lungs, thus helping the development of the brain
- Increases body awareness and confidence in children
- Swimming is proven to improve focus and concentration skills in children
- Developing body and mind connection decreases stress, increases social skills and intelligence
- Children are happy in the water; families spend the best of their time enjoying swimming with their children. Swimming lessons help your children to join parents in this activity.
- Swimming is a life-saving skill. The first and utmost purpose of our lessons is to give your child confidence and skill to take care of themselves in water.
You can also read our blog post about the importance of swimming as a part of the school curriculum.
Saltwater vs freshwater pools: Is the saltwater pool better for asthma?
To answer this question, let’s first ask, “Can swimming worsen asthma?” – Swimming by itself cannot worsen asthma or its symptoms. However, one study shows that swimming regularly in heavily chlorinated indoor pools can impact children’s asthmatic symptoms. Thus, it is argued that swimming in saltwater is better for children with asthma as it is significantly less chlorinated, and there is no chlorine smell in the water. Mostly, in indoor pools, where the scent does not evaporate quickly, chlorine can trigger asthma and allergies.
Saltwater makes the experience of swimming even better because of higher buoyancy. Children learn faster saltwater pools and seas than in freshwater because it is easier to float in saltwater. Thus, we only use salt water and keep the temperature at 32 C.
We tried to answer the question, “Is the saltwater pool better for asthma?”; however, there is insufficient evidence related to the correlation between chlorine and asthma symptoms. For children with asthma, saltwater pools are a better alternative, mostly indoors, because it does not have chlorine smell as freshwater pools. Saltwater does not irritate eyes or skin.
Swimming is an excellent exercise suitable for almost all children, with or without special needs. Children feel happy and confident in water once they are guided through the learning process professionally. Our instructors have professional training needed to work with children of all ages, beginning from 6 months plus.
Aquastream is conveniently located in the Vaughan area, Ontario, and we are ready to answer all your questions before you come to class. We also suggest a free tryout class for all the families interested in our services.