With the humid summer days lately, there's no better way to have fun, relax, and cool off than at the pool—whether it's your own backyard or in the neighborhood. While we hear a lot about water safety, another thing to talk to your kids about is chlorine. The common household chemical is used to keep your pools clean and free of bacteria, but it can be dangerous if used improperly or if accidentally ingested.
Any pool owner or lifeguard understands the importance of keeping their pool clean and clear for swimmers. Although it's great for keeping pools germ-free, chlorine can have a significant drying effect on skin and hair. Chlorine cracks your hair's protective cuticles and removes the natural lubricant known as sebum, which can lead to split ends. It also removes the skin's lubricant oil and makes you feel stiff and itchy.
To prevent skin dryness and green hair:
To avoid accidental exposures, proper storage of pool chemicals is vital. It's important to store the chlorine and other pool chemicals in a locked cabinet away from a child's reach. If you have young children, and need to treat the pool, try to find a time to do so when they're not around, and don't give in to the temptation to let them help.
Even with careful use and storage, accidents may still occur. If you, or your child, accidentally inhales chlorine dust, move to fresh air, and away from the area of exposure immediately. Similar to the dry skin you may experience after swimming, when inhaled, pool chlorine can dry out your nose and throat, leading to coughing or wheezing, as well as a burning sensation in those areas. You can help to restore moisture by going to the bathroom, turning on the hot water, and allowing the room to fill with moist, steamy air for approximately 20 minutes.