Chlorinated swimming pool: How to care for chemical burns

Fact Checked

There is a possibility for chemical burns from high levels of chlorine especially from exposure to the fumes especially in poorly-ventilated indoor pools. Always bear in mind that chlorine is a poison and children are at high risk to high levels of the caustic chemical than the adults.

Chlorine in swimming pools

Many homeowners and pool managers utilize chlorine in swimming pools to eliminate bacteria, reduce the level of algae and control the pH levels. The antimicrobial pesticides that are swimming pool additives such as calcium or sodium hypochlorite that contain chlorine and other chemicals are added in granule, liquid or tablet form in the water.

Oftentimes, machines are utilized that mechanically release precise amounts of chlorine into the swimming pool at scheduled intervals. The level of chlorine in the pool and the length of exposure usually determine the severity of the reaction.

Level of chlorine

The level of chlorine in swimming pools and the regular household product vary greatly. Even though household cleaners contain 2% chlorine content and bleach has 5%, swimming pool chemicals contain 12-95% chlorine since the correct use of the product requires dilution with abundant water to achieve the ideal balance.

The increased levels of chlorine either too much in the pool water or from the leak of gases can lead to severe irritation to the eyes, nose, skin and sinuses.

Dangers of chlorine

Always bear in mind that children who use the chemically-treated swimming pools face a higher risk of breathing in the hazardous amounts of chlorine and other substances. Since the most dangerous form of exposure is via inhalation of chlorine gas, the risk if higher among children in indoor pools.

The increased levels of chlorine either too much in the pool water or from the leak of gases can lead to severe irritation to the eyes, nose, skin and sinuses. Take note that exposure can lead to respiratory issues and if swallowed, the throat can burn. The chemical can also cause chemical burns on broken skin. As for exposure to high levels of chlorine, it can result to burns in the eyes, throat, skin and even lead to death.

Safety precautions

Children can be protected from chemical burns from chlorine by carefully following the instructions when adding the chemical to the pool or by checking the management at indoor or public pools regarding safety practices.

The indoor water parks and recreational pools must have air-control mechanisms to eliminate moisture present in the air and incessantly take in fresh air. The indoor pools should further guarantee safety by utilizing built-in fans and open windows to help improve the ventilation. In case the facility is specifically structured to enable the sunlight to strike the water, the risk for the build-up of chlorine is reduced.

Being exposed to chlorine entails immediate removal to an open area with fresh air and emergency care. It is recommended to rinse the eyes and skin with water to flush the irritant. If there is a stronger than usual smell or if there is irritation to the eyes or skin, leave the swimming pool right away.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The information posted on this page is for educational purposes only.
If you need medical advice or help with a diagnosis contact a medical professional

  • All content is reviewed by a medical professional and / sourced to ensure as much factual accuracy as possible.

  • We have strict sourcing guidelines and only link to reputable websites, academic research institutions and medical articles.

  • If you feel that any of our content is inaccurate, out-of-date, or otherwise questionable, please contact us through our contact us page.