The summer is here and millions of people are heading out to public swimming pools to cool off and have some fun in the sun.
Swimming in cool waters under a shining sun is a simple pleasure. Most people escape the heat by jumping into a man-made pool. This is where a red flag is raised. Water parks can be a breeding ground for bacteria.
You should always be able to see the bottom of the pool clearly. If you don’t, you may want to reconsider getting in. Cloudy water is a sure sign that all kinds of germs that may cause various infections are living in it.
People usually associate norovirus with cruise ships, and they would be right, but the bug can strike elsewhere. Remember the outbreak in Portland, Oregon when 70 people got sick after swimming in a nearby lake? Experts believe an infected swimmer had diarrhea or vomited in the water and other swimmers swallowed the contaminated water, according to the CDC. The point is, it can hit anywhere; although, if a pool is managed properly, chlorine should be able to kill the virus.
Fungi that cause athlete’s foot and human papillomavirus, which causes plantar warts, are a potential danger. These can be spread from contaminated surfaces to the bare feet of pool bathers and patrons, according to Aquatic Guidelines. Be extra careful, especially if you don’t think surfaces have been properly disinfected.
You smell the chlorine and think the pool you are about to swim in is clean. The truth is that the chlorine doesn’t kill germs right away. This means that you can still be swimming and possibly swallowing dirty water. The microorganisms and chemicals come in contact with the skin, ears, and eyes, resulting in itching, redness and even diarrhea.
It’s hardly surprising to anyone that most people pee in the pool. However, just because this is so common, doesn’t mean it’s a good idea. Quite the contrary, in fact. The urine creates trichloramine and cyanogen chloride, which are toxic chemicals. They have been linked to lung problems, according to a study, and cyanogen chloride can affect the heart and central nervous system. It’s true that a lot of urine would have to be in the water for this to be a serious problem, but you never really know how many people and how often they’ve peed in the pool, do you?
Yes, it happens more often than you think, as a CDC study has found. Formed fecal matter protects germs inside from being exposed to the chlorine, which can kill them. Microbes that can make you sick that are found in feces are E. coli, shigella, norovirus, Hepatitis A (which is primarily transmitted via fecal matter), to name a few.
Cryptosporidium (or Crypto for short), which is also found in fecal matter, can live in properly treated water for up to 10 days; chlorine doesn’t kill it right away. It is spread by swallowing contaminated water. Symptoms, which can last up to two weeks, include watery diarrhea, stomach cramps or pain, nausea, fever, vomiting, according to the CDC.
The parasite can last up to 45 minutes before the chlorine kills it. It causes an intestinal infection. The parasite is found on surfaces or in soil, food, or water that has been contaminated with feces from infected humans or animals, the CDC says. Drinking water and recreational water is the most common mode of transmission.
The bacteria that eventually cause the disease, a type of pneumonia, are found naturally in lakes and streams, but it can become a health concern when it grows and spreads in human-made building water systems such as hot tubs if they aren’t drained, water tanks, plumbing systems, sink faucets. Symptoms include coughing, fever, chills, shortness of breath, and diarrhea.
The stinging pain of your irritated skin is definitely one of the most unpleasant aspects of summer. Once you have sunburn, the damage is done, so it’s crucial to avoid a burn in the first place. Sunburn increases your risk of getting skin cancer. Apply sunscreen at least 15 minutes before you go outside, and apply enough. Most adults need about the amount they can hold in their palm to fully cover all exposed areas. Doctors recommend that people apply sunscreen lotion with an SPF of at least 30 at least every two hours.
Just to be on the safe side, don’t drink the water. Even if it’s clear and you can see the bottom of the pool. The same rule applies for lake, river, ocean, sea water – wherever you are swimming.
You need them for protection from infection (when permitted). The wet concrete is covered in fungus. Moisture provides a breeding ground for athlete’s foot. Get the feet fry as soon as you leave the pool area.
It’s important to wash whatever you have in your body every time before getting in the pool. Just like you don’t want to accidentally swallow other people’s germs, they don’t want to accidentally drink yours.
It has to be said over and over again because some people just don’t do it. Practice good hygiene and common sense. Wash your hands thoroughly after using the restroom and after changing diapers.
Germs can easily be spread from any kind of objects, including dirty diapers in your bag, around the pool. Don’t take any chance or you may get yourself and others very, very sick.