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Respiratory health and baby swimming
  1. A Bernard,
  2. M Nickmilder
  1. Department of Public Health, Catholic University of Louvain, Brussels, Belgium
  1. Correspondence to:
    Prof. A Bernard
    Department of Public Health, Catholic University of Louvain, Brussels, Belgium; bernard{at}

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Although baby swimming programmes are very popular, there are no reliable data on the potential advantages and risks of this practice for the child’s development.1 In particular, no study has evaluated the possible effects of exposing babies to the volatile chlorination products of indoor pools that recently have been found to affect the lung epithelium and to increase asthma risks.2–,4

We examined a total of 341 schoolchildren aged 10–13 years who were recruited from 10 primary schools in the same area of Brussels, after informed consent was obtained from their parents. The institutional ethics committee approved the study protocol. Among participants, 43 had followed a baby swimming programme before the age of 2 years. Levels of active and combined chlorine in …

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  • Funding: this study was supported by the European Union (HELIOS project) and the Brussels Capital Region

  • Competing interests: none declared