Although we would all like to think that having chlorine, bromine and/or other sanitizing chemicals in the pool guarantees us a safe swimming experience, science has proven otherwise… and therefore swimmers need to use common sense to avoid getting sick AND making others sick.
Below you will find a list of things we can all do to help keep ourselves and others free of Recreational Water Illnesses:
- Rinse off in a shower before entering the pool. If more people did this, less bacteria would get into the water to begin with.
- Avoid swallowing pool water whenever possible. Reducing the number of opportunities for germs and bacteria to enter your body greatly reduces your chances of getting sick.
- Although it sounds like common sense, if you can’t see the bottom of the pool, you probably ought not get in the water.
- People with diarrhea and people who have gotten over diarrhea recently should stay out of the water. Period. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has labeled diarrhea as the most common recreational water illness and believes swimmers currently exhibiting symptoms and those who have exhibited symptoms in the past two weeks risk contaminating the pool with germs…. and should stay out of the water.
- Babies AND adults who require diapers or diaper-like devices need to wear the ones designed specifically for swimming. No exceptions.
- Teach your children to get out of the pool and use the bathroom rather than stand in the water with a silly grin on their face as they pee in the pool. Sounds nasty, but look around the pool next time you go and if you see a kid, and possibly even an adult, standing on their own and kind of staring off into space… Watch out for the warm spot.
- Though most people already know to wash their hands after using the restroom, some folks believe jumping into a chlorinated swimming pool immediately afterward suffices as a means of washing their hands… and it doesn’t. It does, however, add to the pool’s overall bacteria count. Yuck.
- People with summer colds, allergies or other mucous generating conditions need to keep clear of the water and definitely NOT spit anywhere near the pool. No one wants to swim through your snot or put their bare foot on the boogers you so tactfully blew out of your nostril when you thought no one could see you.
In a nutshell, all the chlorine and bromine in the world cannot prevent a pool from spreading nasty little diseases and illnesses if people don’t use proper hygeine in and around the pool.