Asthma UK community forum

Blue Lips when swimming

My 8 year old son has recently started swimming lessons but the past few times he has been in the swimming pool he has felt very cold and his lips turn very blue. I wasn't worried at first but have googled what this could be and i'm worried its his heart now or a lack of oxygen. I've asked him to describe how he feels and he says 'not very well, cold, its a bit hard to breath, eyes go funny and headache'. I've booked him into DRs for next week but can anyone else relate to this?

he's an active little boy and plays football etc and rarely has any problems with his asthma but now I'm worried. any advice would be much appreciated.

5 Replies

could he be hyperventilating? only thinking coz most children cant seem to grasp the whole breathing under water very well, and with him saying about his head and eyes going funny?



I think if was possibly his oxygen levels or his heart it would manifest itself when he plays football etc as that like swimming is very demanding. I suffer with low oxygen and use 02 at home and indeed suffer with the tell tale blue lips but it happens with all exertion not just one thing, unless of course the chlorine is affecting his breathing acting as a asthma trigger? Chlorine gives me a headache and funny eyes too (bless him) and sets off my asthma.

Have you tried giving him his reliever meds before he swims?

Go by your mummy instinct if your worried then your doing the best thing taking him to the doctors. Best of luck and i really hope its nothing serious.


It could be the chloroaimines in the pool acting as a trigger for his asthma. When your son swims can you hear his breathing becomming bad. I know from my swimming days I was told from my coaches that I sounded like a train when swimming up and down the lanes when my asthma was bad. If it is his asthma the best way forward is for him to see his doctor and get his medication looked at and adjusted for when he is excercising.

The chemicals in the pool may be macking his eyes hurt, it may be worth getting your son a pair of swimming googles, though he may want to wear them loosely if he gets headaches in the pool as do not want to make the headache situation worse by wearing them to tight.

What are the temperatures in the pool like when he is swimming, if the temps are on the cold side this could be making him feel cold. Sometimes you can get cold if standing around in the pool doing nothing, as soon as you start excercising again you start to warm up.


Just a though.............

He could just be cold?

Is the pool warm or is it quite chilly?

Otherwise speak to GP.




My son always gets blue lips when swimming, For him it is, that the water is never warm enough in leisure pools.

He feels the cold very badly, and this has a knock on affect on his asthma and breathing problems.

But I agree it is a good idea, to get your son checked out in case it is something else or his asthma playing up.

Good luck



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