Swimming pools immediately come to mind when you think of the summer heat. It is a pleasure to dip in that cool pool water but do you know pools are the ideal breeding ground for bacteria and parasites? Public pools, and water parks, are well-known as breeding grounds for diseases. Swimmers can get diarrhoea, skin rashes, ear infection, eye infection, and respiratory illnesses, from unhygienic pool water.
If you are thinking your pool smells of strong chlorine and there is nothing to worry about. You may have been greatly mistaken! When your eyes turn red and you blame the chlorine for eye irritation, the real culprit may be sweat and urine in the water. These excretions combine with chlorine to irritate the eyes, lungs, and skin. The concoction can be deadly but there are several things that can be done to maintain the health of a swimming pool.
Despite the health risks, there are immense benefits to swimming. It is a wonderful form of exercise and provides loads of fun and entertainment. It is especially good for people suffering from joint pains as swimming offers a cardiovascular workout minus the stress on joints. In warm weather, nothing can be as relaxing as swimming.
A few simple precautions can make your swimming pool safe and keep your family healthy.
Do not swallow the water
As a pool owner, you must be taking good care of your pool by using disinfectants and filters but germs can enter the pool through many sources. Following some pool etiquette and adopting some precautionary measures can keep everyone safe.
Swallowing water while swimming or playing in the pool is not unusual. However, that can be one of the prime causes of diarrhoea. When pool water enters your body through the mouth or nose, you could be exposed to germs. Most common pool bacteria like E. coli, viruses like norovirus, and parasites like Giardia, Shigella, and Cryptosporidium can cause several diseases.
Most germs get eliminated by chlorine but not all. The presence of these germs in pool water can easily result in stomach infections. Avoid swallowing pool water as much as possible and also educate your children to do the same.
Take a shower before and after entering the pool
Sweat, urine, and poop stuck to the bottom can also contaminate the pool water. It is essential to take a proper shower before entering the pool. Experts say a 60 seconds shower is essential to wash away most of the unwanted substances from the body. This also allows the chlorine in the water to work better in killing germs. Taking a shower will also wash off any urine and poop from the body and prevent more germs from entering the pool.
Also, do not forget to shower after leaving the pool. It will wash away chlorine, other chemicals, and contaminants from your body. Pay extra attention to your hands, as germs stuck in your hands can enter your body with food.
Take bathroom breaks at regular intervals
Time flies when you are swimming and having fun with your family. It is natural for anyone to feel like relieving themselves at any point in time.
Make sure to come out of the pool and take restroom breaks. It is very important to take the children to the bathroom after a certain period. Make a break schedule, so that everyone can come out from the swimming pool in perth, take a break, and hydrate to avoid any accidental contamination.
Even deadly diseases like Hepatitis A are possible from contaminated water. Hepatitis A is a virus that can live in water and cause liver troubles. The symptoms may appear as late as after a couple of weeks. Some symptoms of Hepatitis A are nausea, fatigue, and abdominal pain. Hepatitis A is contagious and can affect people through the faecal-oral route.
Keep a watch on the weather
Weather can affect the bacteria levels greatly. Rains can meddle with chlorine levels and increase bacteria activity. The same goes for hot days, as the strong sun breaks down chlorine faster. If the chlorine levels dip below a certain point, it is easier to catch stomach infections from germs.
Persons suffering from infections should avoid the pool
A person who is already suffering from diarrhoea or other infections should not enter the pool. People usually have minute amounts of poop stuck to their bodies. In case, a person with diarrhoea swims in the same pool as others, the contaminated water can make everyone sick.
Cryptosporidium is a germ that’s fairly resistant to pool-cleaning chemicals. Crypto is a common cause of diarrhoea. It can pass onto the pool water through faecal matter. If someone is suffering from crypto, they should stay away from the pool for at least two weeks or till such time they are cured.
Do not allow infants in diapers to paddle in the swimming pool as they do not have the understanding or the control to resist passing urine or pooping in the pool.
Test the pool water health at regular intervals
An imbalance in the pool chemistry can lead to disastrous results. Not only does the correct pH balance and chlorine levels save your pool from corrosion and algae but also keeps your pool mostly germ-free. To keep your pool sanitary, take action to eradicate bacteria. It will keep your family guests from exposure to pool water-borne illnesses.
Vigilant testing or corrective action is better than allowing health problems to elevate beyond control. Pool test strips are the most common and popular way of testing the health of pool water regularly. It is simple, inexpensive, and shows results quickly. There are also several advanced electronic and digital pool testers that deliver comprehensive analysis of your pool water.
Use earplugs while swimming
Earplugs are not only effective in preventing water from entering your ears but also saving you from infections like swimmer’s ear. Also known as otitis externa, a swimmer’s ear is an infection that affects the outer ear canal. Some of the symptoms of this ear infection are itchy ears, pain, redness, and swelling. This ear infection spreads when bacteria from the pool water gets trapped in the ear canal and multiplies rapidly.
Keeping the ears blocked with earplugs and wiping away moisture with a dry towel after a swim can prevent the entry of water and bacterial growth in the ears.
Follow these simple things to avoid getting sick from the pool water. A little care, educating the pool users, and attention to detail can save everyone from pool-borne diseases. Enjoy splashing in your pool without worrying about diseases by keeping it clean and hygienic.