What Precautions Should I Take

  • Make sure the pool temperature is between the eighty and eighty Fahrenheit (28th and 30º Celsius), so your baby will not be at risk of hypothermia. You can ask the pool staff for information.
  • As soon as your baby starts shivering, remove the child from the pool.
  • Start with 10-minute sessions until you reach 20 minutes. If your baby is less than a year, avoid staying in the water for more than 30 minutes.
  • If the child is cold or does not look right, do not take him swimming.
  • It is advisable to rinse or bathe children with fresh water immediately after leaving the pool to avoid skin irritation with chlorine. If your baby has any skin problems, have the doctor examine it to make sure that the chlorine has not caused any irritation and to treat it if necessary.
  • If you have a pool at home, the American Academy of Pediatrics advises that you put a fence that is at least 4 feet in height (1.2 meters), with a door that closes automatically.  The latch to close the fence should be at a height that a small child cannot reach.
  • When you’re done bathing, make sure you get all the toys out of the pool, so your child does not feel drawn to the water.
  • If you use a small inflatable pool, always empty it when you finish using it.
  • It is not advisable for babies to bathe in hot tubs, as in very hot water some bacteria and parasites can affect their skin.

A June 2007 study indicates that bathing babies in pools with chlorinated water and located in covered spaces, associated with other risk factors such as passive exposure to tobacco, could increase the risk of developing asthma and other respiratory diseases.