Infants and toddlers getting cold in the water is a real obstacle to teaching them to be water safe — an obstacle that indoor pools eliminate. Little ones can’t tolerate the cold like older children and adults, and, in my experience, if the water is too cold, they just are not happy or teachable.

The first several times that Carman and Sudoku swam this season, Doodle was interested, but once he felt the water, he backed away and didin’t get in. Now that we’ve had several days with temperatures in the upper 80’s, he has wanted to get right in and has tolerated the cool water fairly well. Today I noticed goose bumps on his legs after about 30 minutes in the water, though.

If we didn’t have such convenient access to a pool, I’d be tempted to swim at our local recreation center that has an indoor pool. But after seeing the following article, I have yet another reason to be grateful to our neighbor.

On June 4, 2007, the Atlanta Journal and Constitution reported the following.

If taking your infant to swim class seems like a fun way of bonding-with-baby, you might want to think twice about the idea.

That’s because a new European study has found that infants who were regularly exposed to the chlorinated air of indoor swimming pools were more at risk for developing asthma than were infants who didn’t swim indoors.

“Our data suggest that infant swimming practice in chlorinated indoor swimming pools is associated with airway changes that, along with other factors, seem to predispose children to the development of asthma and recurrent bronchitis,” wrote the Belgian researchers.

I’m thankful that, for now, this is a risk I don’t have to take.