Swimming Pool Safety Requires Proper Behavior, Rules, Equipment, And More

Swimming Pool Safety Requires Proper Behavior, Rules, Equipment, And More

Do I have to shower before swimming? Pool safety questions answered

From CTV News

When most people think of swimming pool safety, the first thing that comes to mind is probably not running on the pool deck.  Perhaps the first image one recieves when thinking about pool safety is a “no diving” sign, ubiquitous in one’s childhood.  According to this post from CTV News, pool safety encompasses these and many more, including one’s behavior beyond the curtailing of running on decks.

Here is an excerpt from the post:

Sipping drinks on a pool lounger in the backyard or splashing with the kids at a waterpark are great ways to cool off in the summertime. But it turns out that all sorts of germs think of warm pools as tropical paradises too.
Without proper precautions, those germs can bring on nasty diarrhea illnesses or ear, eye and skin infections that are sure to ruin any long weekend.
Here are the answers to your most pressing questions about pool illnesses and what to do to protect yourself.
Do I really have to shower before going in a public pool?
If often seems that most people enter pool areas dry, probably feeling confident that they are fresh and clean. But even if you just showered that morning, chances are if you used a washroom that day, you could have tiny traces of fecal matter on your hands or the back of your legs that could help to contaminate a pool. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that on average, people have about 0.14 grams of feces on their bottoms which can contaminate pool water.
One study the CDC did last summer found feces were frequently introduced into public pools. It collected water samples from numerous public pool filters and found 58 per cent of them tested positive for E. coli, which are bacteria normally found in feces.
While not all E. coli strains are harmful or pathogenic, the finding is a good clue that swimmers are either not showering before getting in, or that “foulings” — typically children having “accidents” in the pool — are contaminating the water.
Doesn’t chlorine kill off most bacteria and germs?
Contrary to popular belief, the chlorine in pools does not kill all germs right away. It will kill most bacteria that cause illnesses in less than an hour — but that’s only if the chlorine and pH are at optimal levels. The bacteria that cause “hot tub rash” for example, can flourish in an improperly maintained pool.
Even if chlorine levels are ideal, many germs survive a few minute and while they are floating around water, they can be swallowed and cause diarrhea illnesses, especially in children, pregnant women and the elderly, or enter the eyes or ears to create other infections.
One nasty parasite, called Crypto (short for Cryptosporidium), has a tough outer shell and can live in a chlorinated pool for three to 10 days.

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