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Children look forward to the summer months for fun at pools and water parks. However, while they are having fun in the sun, there are hidden risks. Parents should be aware of the risks at home and public pools, and water parks. Most infections and accidents are preventable with proper knowledge and precaution. Your children can have a fun and healthy summer in the pool.

Springing up in towns and backyards in the '60s, the pool offered a healthy alternative to polluted beaches and waterways. 

But the very thing that makes pools healthy for many – chlorine-based disinfectant – makes it a potential health hazard for others.

Chlorine-based disinfectants (hypochlorite, chlorine and chloroisocyanurates) inactivate a wide range of water-borne pathogens. But when these chemicals react with organic matter such as urine and sweat, chlorine releases a mixture of by-products that can irritate the eyes, skin and upper airways.

Recent research by Belgian scientists published in Pediatrics has added to the theory that chlorine in swimming pools can increase the incidence of asthma, allergic rhinitis and hay fever in those who are vulnerable to allergies.

The researchers examined 847 students between 13 and 18 years of age who had been swimming in indoor chlorinated and un-chlorinated pools.