CAN SWIMMING IN A POOL MAKE YOU SICK?

It is an undisputed fact that the question “Can swimming in a pool make you sick?” is one of the most frequently asked and controversial questions about swimming. Read this brief article and learn about recreational water illnesses and how to prevent them. Safety first. Swim healthy! Protect yourself and your family and friends from germs in the water.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, recreation water illnesses are caused by the chemicals and germs present in the pools we swim in. Recreational water illnesses can be acquired by having contact with, swallowing or breathing in the mist of the contaminated water. Understanding these basic facts about recreational water illness can make the difference between healthy swimming and getting sick.

The answer to the question “Can swimming in a pool make you sick?” is a definite YES! Tens of thousands of swimmers do become ill every year. If you have ever been sick after swimming, it is likely from contaminated pool water. Pool chemicals like chlorine are added to the pools to kill germs, usually within minutes. However, they do not work instantly and will break down other contaminants like dirt, sweat and urine first. Healthy pools DO NOT have a strong chlorine smell, the opposite is true, that odor is from the chemicals that form and outgas from dirty and unhealthy pool water, causing red and burning eyes, coughing and runny noses.

People with weakened immune systems and pregnant woman can become seriously ill from the Cryptosporidium parasite and should consult their healthcare provider before participating in any swimming activities that may potentially place them at risk. Another common recreational water illness is ear infections, also known as “Swimmer’s Ear” (Otitis Externa). Due to the warmer temperatures of spas and hot tub waters, skin rashes can be caused by infection with the germ Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Additionally, each year thousands are infected with a type of potentially life threatening respiratory illness, a type of pneumonia known as Legionnaires’ disease.

No worries, there are four simple and easy steps to follow to help keep your swimming pool water healthy. First and foremost, stay out of the water if you suspect unhealthy conditions or if you may have diarrhea. Just one person can contaminate an entire pool. Second, all swimmers should shower for at least one minute prior to getting in to your pool. Obviously and absolutely, NO peeing or pooping in the water, don’t swallow the water and be sure to take the kids out hourly for bathroom breaks. Share the fun of swimming and not the germs by protecting yourself and others. Don’t risk the health of your family. Learn more at cdc.gov/healthyswimming

Residential and commercial pools are far less likely to spread germs when they are regularly maintained by licensed professionals. Let us manage your pool with our full service cleaning and maintenance programs that keep your pool water sparkling clean and your equipment running reliably for a price that fits your budget. Our people make the difference with quality you can trust.

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