You may have heard this story from Canada over the weekend and will be pleased to know that all but one of those affected has now been released from hospital, an eight year old boy remains on a ventilator to help him breath after the incident. 45 children and 25 adults were rushed to hospital after chlorine exposure whilst warming up for a swim meet in the community pool. The water is sanitised using chlorine gas which is regulated electronically.
The children smelt high concentrations of gas and started screaming as their eyes and breathing were badly affected. Although they soon felt better when treated in hospital, sore throats and breathing problems returned the day after their release.
I can’t help think that if an incident had affected so many people at an open water venue, outdoor swimming would be branded dangerous and those adults that took their children along labelled irresponsible.
At one time the waters at Serpentine Lido were chlorinated and the equipment is still in place to do so. Reassuringly there has been no need to add chemicals to the lake for many years because the water is now so clean. Yet the same cannot be said for the waters of countless man-made swimming pools across the world.
Swimmers have a choice; I prefer to swim in clean water!