There are more and more reasons these days to clean up especially when there are known factors that can be transferred from activities like swimming in a pool in the summertime. Your swimming pool is like taking a bath with a bunch of people that can expose you to nasty bacteria that can make their home even in a well-maintained pool. Should swimmers shower off before and after a swim in your pool?
Yes-Taking a shower Before you go swimming can reduce the number of undesirable contaminants added to the pool like sweat, perfumes, deodorants, Sun Block &, Suntan lotion
Taking a shower After can alleviate exposure to RWI’s, Chlorine, & Chlorinated by-products that are passed on by other swimmers
Even though your pool is well maintained, balanced, and the pool water is crystal clear some microorganisms are more resistant to chlorine than others, so there is still a chance that you could get sick by contact with them in the water, even if the chlorine levels are properly maintained.
Swimming Pool Guidelines
Recreational Water Illnesses (RWIs) such as skin infections and parasites, can be spread in swimming pools by swallowing or coming in contact with contaminated water. Luckily, showering before and after swimming is actually one of the best and easiest ways to protect yourself and others from illness. If you don’t shower before swimming, you allow fecal matter to mix with the pool water.
Surprisingly we all have small amounts of fecal matter on our bodies any given day. On average, the (CCD) U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention estimates people have 0.14 grams of fecal matter on their bodies throughout the day. Swallowing even a small amount of water with fecal matter has the potential to make you sick. When swimmers shower, they prevent the risk of recreational waterborne illnesses that cause diarrhea, skin infections, and eye infections.
- Don’t swim if you or your kids have Diarrhea-If you or your children swim either if they have diarrhea since swimming will only help spread germs in the water and make others sick. Try and avoid swallowing pool water. This is sometimes easier said than done with little kids, but you have to teach them at an early age. Good hygiene practices are essential in and outside the pool.
- Take a shower Before & After swimming.
- Take your kids on bathroom breaks or diaper checks often even if they don’t mention the need to relieve themselves. By the time you hear “Mommy, I have to go”, it might be too late.
- Change diapers in a bathroom or diaper-changing area. Please don’t change them at the poolside. Above all, please wash your child thoroughly (especially the rear end) with soap and water before swimming. Sounds simple, right? It’s common sense. With some simple steps, you can protect yourself, your family, and your friends
- If you only remember one thing from this article just remember when you are swimming in a pool don’t swallow the water.
What Diseases Can You Get From a Swimming Pool
Taking a shower before you go swimming can reduce infections transferred to other swimmers. Taking a shower after you have been swimming can alleviate germs passed on by other swimmers.
Diarrheal Illness is the most common illness that is prevalent in swimming pools. If a swimmer has had diarrhea in the last two weeks then that person stands to infect everyone else that uses the pool with germs. The main cause of this infection is a germ called Cryptosporidium, Giardia, Shigella, norovirus, and E. coli. These bacteria can live for minutes and up to days in a well-maintained swimming pool no matter how clean it looks. Taking a shower after you have been swimming can alleviate germs passed on by other swimmers.
“Hot Tub Rash” is an illness that is caused by Pseudomonas Aeruginosa that is a germ that lives in dirt. The rash occurs when the person in the pool has contact with it for long periods of time. The symptoms look like bumpy red spots and are normally worse where the swimmer is wearing a bathing suit and is covered up. They could last a few days.
Ear Infections come from being underwater and leaving the water that is contaminated in your ear for a few days afterward. It is sometimes referred to as “Swimmers Ear” or your Doctor will call it otitis externa, Symptoms show up within a couple of days and the person’s ear will itch and swell and the itch will turn to pain when any pressure is placed on the ear. I had one of these guys when I was a kid and the Doctor’s treatment is not so pleasant either. Respiratory Infections are another risk that the swimmer faces by breathing steam or mist from the pool or hot tub. A respiratory disease caused by the germ Legionella is one of the most frequent waterborne diseases (drinking water and recreational water)
Chemical Irritation in Eyes and Lungs is caused by a by-product of chlorine and the sweat off the swimmer’s bodies (Nitrogen) that create chloramines that you may find in your swimming pool. If you are thinking of using the swimming pool at the campsite this year, you may want to take a whiff of it first.
If you smell chlorine coming from the pool and there is a lot of people using it, you may want to put it on hold and keep the kids out. Chloramines are what you are most likely smelling. A well-maintained swimming pool won’t have a strong chlorine odor coming from it. Chlorine mixes with the nitrogen coming off the people in the pool and creates a gas that is a lower form of chlorine.
Swimming Pool Shower Etiquette
Installing a device for showering at your pool before and after swimming is actually one of the best and easiest ways to protect yourself and others from illness. Despite this, most people don’t shower before and after hitting the swimming pool the majority of Americans (93%) would never reuse someone else’s bathwater, but more than 40 percent don’t shower before entering the pool, according to the Water Quality and Health Council.
Not only does a shower clean off any dirt you are carrying around with you but it will rinse off sweat, perfumes, deodorants, and Sun Block and Suntan lotion you put on while you are at the pool. People lotion up their whole bodies and after they get hot jump into the pool. Most of these things contained organic compounds within them. When organic compounds are mixed with chlorinated water, by-products are created. These by-products create gases called chloramines. After a while, there is less and less disinfection is going on and free chlorine levels drop inside the pool water.
A simple rinse-off at a pool shower before you dive in can prevent that from happening. This is a nice shower setup for an inground or above-ground pool that is portable and easy to install. available here through Amazon get one for your pool. Wooden Outdoor Shower, Stand Portable Mobile Wooden Garden Shower Camping Water Pressure Adjustable Shower for Backyard Pool Outdoor Swimming Festnight Wooden Outdoor Shower Stand Portable Mobile Garden Camping Water Pressure Adjustable Shower for Backyard Pool Outdoor Swimming.