These days, staying healthy and avoiding infection is on everyone’s mind. That said, swimming hygiene might not be everyone’s top concern at the moment.
Fortunately, the CDC recently made a statement that COVID-19
does not appear to be transmittable via swimming. Still, there are plenty of other potential infections to worry about. Beyond the current COVID-19 pandemic, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are warning that there has been a marked increase in recreational water illnesses
over the past two decades. So when it comes to the water safety, proper swimming hygiene is still extremely important.
In today’s post, let’s talk about proper swimming hygiene. Whether you’re using a community pool or your own, these are a few of the ways you can help prevent the spread of illnesses.
Chlorine Doesn’t Kill Everything
One of the first things people need to know is to not place all their faith in pool cleaning chemicals. While it is true that chlorine can help to eliminate many sources of infections, it should not be considered a catch-all. You can still become sick from more resilient germs. For this reason, it’s important to take some additional precautions when it comes to proper swimming hygiene.
Swimming Hygiene: Shower Before You Swim
The best hygiene always starts with a nice cleansing shower! This is true even if you are about to dive into the water. According to studies, far too many people don’t believe in bathing before taking a swim. People overestimate the power of chlorine or simply don’t realize how much the oil, sweat and bodily fluids they carry on their bodies can enter the water and affect others. This is especially true on a boiling hot summer day. Just remember, the pool doesn’t eliminate these gross byproducts. Instead, it distributes them around the water. Think of your fellow swimmers before hopping into a pool without a proper washing.
Similarly, don’t enter the water with any open wounds or sores. Even if they’re covered by bandages, your blood and bodily fluids can get into the pool. Obviously, this can lead to infections for other people.
This swimming hygiene tip may be disgusting, but it is absolutely necessary to discuss. Many recreational water illnesses can be passed through human waste. That includes diarrhea. Even if a person is on the mend, there can still be infectious remnants on their body. For extra safety, don’t enter the water until you are given the “all-clear” from your doctor.
Don’t Pee in the Pool
Similar to our last point, this is gross, but necessary. Knowing not to pee in the pool should be common sense for adults, but it should be readily instilled in younger swimmers. To prevent accidents, a parent or active supervisor
should schedule frequent trips to the bathroom for young children in the pool. For babies, be absolutely sure to check and re-check any swim diapers. Once they are compromised, the pool will be exposed to potentially harmful waste. Good swimming hygiene starts with personal responsibility.
Don’t Drink the Water
Pool water tastes nasty and, as we explained, it can hide some even nastier germs. To be safe, make sure you don’t swallow any of the water. This is especially true if you are swimming in a public pool
. With a larger number of people using a pool, the chances of finding something unhealthy in the water is much higher. Just to be safe, remember: don’t drink the water!