The Dangers of Dirty Pool Water

Swimming is a popular activity enjoyed by children and adults from all over the world.  However whilst many people are well aware of the dangers of drowning (and will do as much as possible to safeguard against it) most people aren’t aware of the dangers of dirty pool water.  This article isn’t written with the aim of scaring you into never entering a public pool again but hopefully to enlighten you about the dangers that you may not be aware of… and perhaps you should be.

Recreational Water Illnesses

Everyone who goes swimming is at some sort of risk of contracting a recreational water illness (RWI).  An RWI is caused by germs that survive in contaminated water and these can be found in both outdoor areas such as oceans and lakes as well as manmade structures like swimming pools.  On the whole, if you are swimming in chlorinated water you are pretty much safe from contracting any illness however even well maintained pools can be prone to germs such as Cryptosporidium.

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Swimmer’s Ear

Swimmer’s ear is one infection that almost everyone has heard of.  Many people believe that this is only something that can be contracted in swimming pools but hot tubs can also cause this disease even though the temperature of them is clearly a lot hotter.  Luckily swimmer’s ear is easy to cure with eardrops which can be purchased from pharmacies in most countries but still, it is worth being aware of it before swimming.

So Why Do People Swim?

Swimming is the most popular recreational activity with children and the third most frequented recreational activity in the world. Despite there being some RWIs which can be caught, swimming on the whole is a safe sport in the western world.  Very few people do end up contracting water borne illnesses as most public places are well maintained and most private pools are also cared for correctly.

A Few Safety Tips

If you are swimming in somewhere that you have not been to before, take the time to look around at the surroundings; is there anything surrounding the pool that looks unsanitary?  Does the pool water look dirty and unclear?  If so you would be best to find somewhere else to swim as the last thing you want is to spend a week stuck in the bathroom with sickness and diarrhoea.  By understanding the risks you will be better prepared in the future.

Swimming pools are pretty simple to maintain if you have the right equipment: if you care for them properly you should never have a problem when swimming.

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