Baby at outdoor swimming pool

Is Chlorine Bad For Babies Skin?

If you’re thinking about starting swimming lessons for your child, you might also be wondering is chlorine bad for babies skin?

It’s normal for parents to want to limit their baby’s exposure to harsh chemicals. But a pool that is not properly cleaned can harbour nasties that can make your family unwell. Read on to find out what you need to know about the effects of chlorine on baby skin and how you can keep your little one protected.

What is chlorine?

Three brown skinned children in kiddy pool

Photo by Peter Idowu on Unsplash

Chlorine is a naturally occurring chemical element that is produced from ordinary salt. It has many uses, but it is best known for its disinfecting properties in water. It has a strong and unpleasant smell, but its role in keeping recreational waters safe can’t be underestimated.

Wouldn’t it be great to swim in a pool with water like a beautiful running river? Yes, of course it would! But that’s not reality. A swimming pool, especially a public pool where you take your baby for swimming lessons, can be a breeding ground for harmful microbes.

What are the effects of chlorine on baby skin?

Kids in public swimming pool

Photo by Lavi Perchik on Unsplash

Babies have sensitive skin that is typically thinner than an adult’s. For this reason, they can be more susceptible to irritation.

Chlorinated water can:

  • Strip natural oils making the skin dry and hair brittle
  • Leave the skin feeling tight or itchy
  • Cause eczema or psoriasis to flare up
  • Leave a strong smell on the skin
  • Irritate the eyes

Is it okay for babies to swim in chlorinated water?

Baby in pool with mother

It’s true that babies may experience skin sensitivities when swimming in chlorinated water, but an unchlorinated public pool exposes your little one to waterborne pathogens like E.coli that can cause upset tummies and other illnesses. So, the use of chlorine actually makes public pools safer for your family – especially babies who have developing immune systems. In fact, doctors generally advise not to begin swimming lessons before 6 months of age.

Drowning is still one of the biggest risks to Australian children each year, teaching your baby water safety is one of the best things you can do. And if your little one does have sensitive skin, there are things you can do to minimise irritation.

Swimming lessons and caring for your baby’s skin

Swimming lessons are so important for your baby’s safety and they can also be really fun, building a lifelong love of the water. And with a few simple skin care steps, you can ensure your little one’s skin stays healthy and protected.

Baby with natural skincare

Photo by @thefolkchildstories on Instagram

Here are our tips:

  1. Before the lesson, moisturise your baby’s skin from top to toe. Choose a naturally moisturising lotion.
  2. Use baby googles to protect the eyes.
  3. Avoid keeping baby in the water for more than 30 minutes at a time.
  4. Rinse off with fresh water immediately after taking baby out of the pool.
  5. Bathe baby using a natural baby wash that can gently cleanse the hair and skin without stripping moisture.
  6. Reapply a natural moisturiser liberally to keep skin soothed and soft.


Our gorgeous babies have delicate skin that can be prone to irritation, but with a little extra care and safe, gentle baby skin care, they can enjoy the lifelong benefits of learning to swim whilst keeping their skin healthy and happy, too!


Featured image by Derek Thomson on Unsplash