Support Group

Do not drink pool water!

Playing in Swimming Pool

Here you see a very happy baby playing at the pool, and the next?

Fallen ill with stomach flu

That happened TWICE to my baby girl Marcie, as she always thought it’s funny to drink the pool water. Marcie has eczema and we brought her to the swimming pool from about nine months old, at the advice of her doctor. It didn’t do much good nor bad to her skin till one time when the baby pool was closed, we brought her to the 1.0m pool. Her skin improved markedly every time we brought her to the deeper pool and we thought it might be due to soaking in a deeper pool versus just standing mid-waist in the baby pool. But Marcie started getting more at ease in water and dared to walk off the pool into her daddy’s arms. That, on top of always trying to drink pool water, could have made her ill. So while it is good to go swimming with your baby, here’re the do’s and don’ts.


Check with your baby’s doctor (I’ve read that some severe eczema babies not recommended for swimming)

Check with the pool staff on how they disinfect the pool if you’re really concerned (chlorine is supposed to be the least irritating of the disinfectants)

Apply sunscreen lotion before swimming (choose one suitable for baby)

Shower immediately after pool and apply moisturizer generously


If your child has not recovered from cold/fever  for more than 10 days or has not recovered from stomach flu (i.e. solid stool) for more than 48 hours, don’t bring your child to the pool.

Don’t leave your child alone, drowning or water intoxication (swallowing too much water) is dangerous.

Don’t continue swimming if your child is shivering (hypothermia is a risk); bring baby out of the pool and wrap in warm towel.

Don’t swim for too long, limit to no more than 30 minutes for child below 1 year old

4 replies on “Do not drink pool water!”

Sadly Tristan is now afraid of the pool since any experience in water, like baths, hurt him so much when his eczema was severe. We need to work on reintroducing him to the pool now that he’s better. Baths are better now, so it should make the pool experience easier too.

For sunscreen, many are really harsh for eczema skin. If you can find good spf clothing it’s better than applying sunscreen all over your baby’s eczema. However, there are some great gentle sun creams out there. Those containing zinc are the best for eczema children because zinc is a know skin barrier, so it protects the skin from outside irritants and some parents find it soothing for their child as well. It’s also hugely important to buy a fragrance free variety. And always read the ingredients. We like natural products, but you must read the ingredients to be sure no known allergens are listed. Our favorite is Badger’s unscented sun cream. My child reacts to every cream, but this one it seems. It’s expensive, but a little goes a long way.

The recommended routine by Prof Hugo Van Bever is 10 minutes in the pool, 3 times a week. Avoid too long exposure to the sun while in the pool.

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