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Promoting Healthy Swimming At Every Pool

Young boys by a clean swimming pool applying sunscreen

Summer officially started this week, which means it’s pool season! While you’re breaking out your new swimsuit and the sunscreen, backyard and neighborhood pools around the nation are opening back up and being inspected. Here are a few tips to help you promote healthy swimming as a pool owner and swimmer this summer:

Pool Owners

As a pool owner, you have a special responsibility to maintain the health and safety of your pool. This means maintaining appropriate Chlorine levels and pH, which help protect you and your guests from water illnesses. You can take the guesswork out of both of these by using a salt chlorine generator and automation! Learn more about Chlorine and pH.

Regular maintenance is also an important part of pool ownership. This includes making sure your water is clear, all drain covers are secure and in good repair, regularly running your automatic pool cleaner and disposing of trash left in your pool. But what happens if someone has an accident? Would you know how to clean that? The CDC offers a step-by-step guide on how to clean up and remediate your pool after an accident.

Swimmers

If your neighborhood pool is open, it’s passed a safety inspection. But have you ever checked the health inspection for your neighborhood pool? If you answered no, you’re not alone. A recent survey conducted by the Water Quality & Health Council found that 63% of adults haven’t. The survey also found several surprising unhealthy swimming habits, which include:

  • Most adults (52%) never shower before swimming.
  • Only 29% shower for at least one minute, the length of time needed to remove most contaminants from a swimmer’s body.
  • One in four swimmers (27%) admits that they have peed in the pool as an adult.
  • 17% of adults would swim within one hour of having diarrhea.

Don’t worry! Now that you know what could be lurking in the water, there are ways to protect yourself.

“Swimmers and parents of young swimmers can take a few simple but effective steps to help protect themselves and their families from germs and maximize fun at the pool,” said Michele Hlavsa, RN, MPH, epidemiologist and chief of the CDC’s Healthy Swimming Program. “Stay out or keep your kids out of the water if sick with diarrhea, check the pool’s latest inspection score, and do your own mini-inspection before getting in the water.”

To be a healthy swimmer, follow these three simple steps:

  • Check your neighborhood pool’s inspection results
  • Make sure the drain at the bottom of the deep end is visible and all drain covers are secure and not in need of repair
  • Use pool test strips to confirm the appropriate chlorine or bromine levels as well as pH are correct

The Water Quality & Health Council is offering free pool test kits through its award-winning Healthy Pools awareness initiative.

“Swimming is a rite of summertime, but swimmers’ unhealthy swimming habits can make loved ones sick,” said Dr. Chris Wiant, chair of the Water Quality & Health Council. “We all share the water we swim in.”

Infographic: Check List for Healthy and Safe Swimming