There are many different triggers of asthma including viral respiratory infections (colds), exercise induced asthma, exposure to specific allergens (mites, pollens, mould spores, pets and animals), environmental irritants (tobacco smoke, cold and dry air), dietary triggers (food, chemicals/additives), medicines (aspirin and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) and occupational exposure (dust and fumes). 2
However, asthma is a very manageable condition and in consultation with your family doctor and the right asthma care plan there is no reason why your child’s asthma should get in the way of them learning to swim.
A review of the available evidence on swimming and asthma suggests that swimming induces less severe bronchoconstriction than other sports. It is believed that the “high humidity of inspired air at water level reduces respiratory heat loss.” Research also suggests that water immersion and the horizontal position of swimming is beneficial for asthmatics.
At State Swim our pools are heated to a comfortable 32 degrees and our air temperature is heated in the cooler months. The warm, humid environment inside our pool area makes breathing conditions more comfortable for asthma sufferers.
Some parents also fear that the pool environment may make their child’s asthma worse. At State Swim all of our schools are equipped with state of the art and environmentally friendly water purifications systems that result in fresher and cleaner water without the over powering smell of chlorine. This modern water treatment technology includes an Ultra Violet (UV) light system, which significantly reduces the amount of chloramines from the pool water, providing a better environment for asthmatics.
We also have trained pool maintenance staff whose job it is to ensure our water quality is of the highest standards. They ensure the correct pool chemistry balance is maintained minimising any possible irritants to your child’s lungs.
If your child suffers from asthma remember to have your child’s inhaler such as salbutamol (Ventolin) with you at their swimming lesson, and in the cooler months have warm clothes for them to change into after their lesson.
Please feel free to contact your nearest school if you have any questions or to learn more about our learn to swim program.