Summer Tips : Don't Get Sick from the Public Pool

The weather is finally nice enough to hit the local pool with your family. And even though public pools are highly chlorinated for cleanliness, they are still not completely free from health risks. In fact, there are three major health concerns you need to watch out for this summer when you go into the pool at your local gym, community center, or fancy resort.

Diarrhea

Ever feel sick after a day of swimming? The most common post-swim illness is caused by a parasite called cryptosporidium, which leads to diarrhea, stomach pain and nausea. The parasite can enter the pool from feces, even trace amounts from an infected person who did not shower first. Chlorine is no match for the bug because if is resistant to chlorine and can survive outside of the body for long periods of time.

The best way to avoid the bug from ruining your fun day at the pool is to avoid swallowing pool water. Also try not to touch your face until after you washed with soap and hot water.

Pinkeye

It is common to get red and burning eyes after spending time in the pool. This is because chlorine can burn and irritate eyes. However, sometimes the pool can leave you with a nasty eye infection, like pink eye. Pink eye can be caused from a pool that is not chlorinated enough and from people who do not shower before swimming or from their being pee in the pool.

Protect your eyes from the chlorine and other nasty things by wearing a pair of well-fitting goggles every time you go swimming.

Hot Tub Rash

Many times a soak in the hot tub can leave you with an itchy skin infection. Chlorine usually is strong enough to kill the germs that cause this skin infection, but the hot water in a spa can cause the usefulness of the chlorine to break down faster.

You are more at risk for a skin infection the longer you stay in your swimming suit. Therefore, it is best to save your hot tub soak for the end of your pool day and shower thoroughly before leaving the pool area. Change out of your swimsuit as soon as possible and wash your bathing suit before wearing it again.

Keep these three summer health hazards in mind the next time you want to go for a dip in a public pool. Shower before and after your swim to prevent these issues even further.

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Used under Creative Commons Licensing courtesy of Jared Hersch

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