The crystalline water and the refreshing feel of a swimming pool are almost like an addiction in summer. I am a confirmed addict then! No amount of time is ever enough to splash around in the happy waters. Swimming is also a great exercise and is known to promote fitness and a state of well-being. It works as an anti-depressant as well! Having said all this, we bring you this exposition to make you and your family aware of the infections and skin irritations that can be caused by the chlorinated water. The chlorination treatment is done to kill germs and disinfect the water however the fact is that the chemical chlorine is in itself a cause for aggravating and causing infections. Places that have pools therefore limit the amount of chlorine that gets added to the water.
Chlorine + Substances = Harmful By-products
The startling fact is that when chlorine compounds mix with other substances, they create harmful by-products. Unluckily for us ‘water babies’ these ‘other substances’ are in abundance in swimming pools – saliva, hair, skin, perspiration and sometimes even cosmetics. These disinfectant by-products therefore are always present in chlorinated pools and are swallowed, absorbed by the skin and when the chemical vaporizes they can also be inhaled. It is therefore obvious that these by-products cannot be very good for the body and prolonged exposure does cause respiratory illness, damage to lungs, eye infections, skin irritations, pneumonia, urinary tract infections, gastroenteritis and others.
Diminish the Risk
While all that is mentioned above is alarming and must be cautioned against, it does not warrant depriving yourself and the kids of this exciting activity. It would help to keep some things in mind before taking a dive.
- Research has proved that if you can smell the chlorine in the air and in the water, too much has been used. Avoid swimming and let the concerned people know about the same.
- Don’t swim at pools that are cavalier about people washing up before entering it. A shower with soap is a must to reduce the amount of substances like perspiration that will mix with chlorine as explained above
- Ensure that the pool is an open environment or at least has good circulation of air and appropriate ventilation. Indoor pools especially in rooms with low ceilings should be avoided. This is particularly true for pools in homes.
- Strictly adhere to and instruct kids, never to spit or urinate in the pool. This is unhygienic and positively disgusting for everyone.
- Avoid swimming in pools that have cloudy or greenish water. This is a sure sign of contaminated water.
- Wait for a few days if you have recovered from an illness, skin infections and or conjunctivitis.
If you are regular swimmers it must be remembered that you constantly expose yourself to a harsh environment created by the chlorine and the by-products. However, with some careful thought and precautions you can enjoy this fun activity that allows you to be with friends, stay in shape and let your stress and tiredness get washed away.
Happy summer to you!
Featured Image Courtesy: kingpool.ca