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Protect your skin, hair and suits from chlorine

Expert tips on keeping your family safe from pool chemicals

Girl Swimming in Pool, Summer fun, Pool, Relax

Now that summer break is here, parents are faced with the annual summer-activity-dilemma. There’s no better way to spend a hot summer day in a pool. As founder & president of AquaMobile Swim School, I have a wealth of experience teaching swimming to students of all ages, from infants to adults, in cities across North America. 

One of the most frequently asked questions I receive from parents is how to protect their children from chlorine found in pools. If you’re in the pool a lot, the chlorine and other chemicals can be very harsh for your skin, hair, and swim gear. Repeated exposure to the pool water starts to break down the materials of your swim gear and also depletes your skin and hair of its natural oils. For those with sensitive skin, chlorine can trigger allergies, rash or even sinus problems.

[Read more: Public Swimming Pools in the Hudson Valley]

To help you keep yourself and your loved ones healthy and safe from chlorine-related problems, we’ve provided tips on how to protect skin, hair, and swim gear from chlorinated pool water: 

Chlorine bonds to skin and hair, meaning water alone cannot remove it. Swimmers often carry the smell of the chemical for a day or two. One of the solutions to the problem is Vitamin C, which is an effective neutralizer. Parents can create their own topical spray by mixing one teaspoon (5g) of Vitamin C powder (found in most health and wellness stores) into about 500ml of water.

[Read more: Water Safety Tips for Your Family]

Hair is also porous and absorbs easily. Rinsing it with cool tap water prior to swimming will make it less likely to soak up chlorinated pool water. Another effective solution is to coat your child’s hair with olive oil, baby oil or coconut oil before putting on a swim cap. Rinse hair immediately with a shampoo that neutralizes chlorine after swimming and do not dry hair with hair dryers on the “high” setting to prevent further drying hair out.

Lastly, chlorinated pools can negatively affect swimsuits. Wetting swimsuits in cold (warmer water can have degenerative effects on the fabric) tap water right before and after getting in and out of pools prevents it from absorbing as much chlorinated pool water. Avoid using the washing machine as much as possible and allow the swimsuit to air dry in the sun to kill bacteria and prevent mildew. If the washing machine must be used, add a few tablespoons of vinegar to help neutralize chlorine.

[Read more: How water smart is your child?]

Swimming is often said to be one of the most important life skills and the earlier a child learns to swim, the earlier they can reap the benefits. With that in mind, let your children swim with ease this upcoming summer and have fun! 

Diana Goodwin is the founder and president of AquaMobile Swim School, a private swim school that offers high quality swim instruction at clients’ home and condo pools throughout North America. AquaMobile Swim School can be reached at or 1-888-950-7946.