Health Tips for Safe Swimming in Pools

It doesn’t really matter where you swim, whether a community pool or your backyard pool, you should know the difference between a healthy pool and a dangerously risky one.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that during the last decade the number of illnesses resulting from unclean pool water has increased.  It is particularly dangerous for some individuals such as:  pregnant women, children, and those with weak immune systems.  These individuals are particularly at risk of developing severe illnesses if infected.

The keys to having a safe pool situation are proper treatment and healthy behavior…protecting the water quality and the swimmer’s health.  Chlorine continues to be the first line of defense in pool treatment.  Adding chlorine to the water is an effective measure to kill germs.

You may ask how is it possible to tell the difference between a healthy pool and an unhealthy pool?  According to the National Consumers League, Water Quality and Health Council, a national partnership formed by the CDC, and the American Chemistry Council, you should use your sense of sight, touch, smell, and sound to help you tell the difference.

Use your senses to notice the differences between healthy pools and risky ones.  Here are some tips:

  • Sight: Look at the water.  It should be clear and clean.
  • Touch:  Feel of the tiles around the pool.  They should feel smooth and clean
  • Smell:  Make sure there are no strong odors.
  • Sound:  Listen for the operation of the pool cleaning equipment.

The most important and essential step to take for a well maintained swimming pool is to keep it properly chlorinated.  By taking this action, it will prevent illnesses from waterborne bacteria and viruses.  These pathogens can cause swimmers to experience diarrhea, respiratory illnesses, and ear and nose infections and also skin infections.

The CDC states that everyone has a responsibility in keeping the pool water safe and healthy by doing the following:

  • Don’t swim when you are ill with diarrhea
  • Don’t swallow pool water
  • Take frequent bathroom breaks
  • Practice good hygiene

If you are unsure about the quality of water in your pool, it would be wise to test it by using portable pool and spa testing strips to ensure the chlorine levels are adequate and the proper pH exist.

So, before you go for your next relaxing swim, be sure to use your “senses” and have a wonderful, refreshing and healthy day at the pool.