Have your eyes ever started to sting and turn red when you were swimming in a pool? Did you think it was because of the chlorine in the water? Have you ever walked into an indoor pool area, gotten a whiff of a strong chemical smell, and thought, “Wow, there’s a lot of chlorine in the pool?”
It’s actually not the chlorine. It’s chloramines - what you get when chlorine combines with what comes out of (e.g., pee or poop) or washes off of (e.g., sweat and dirt) swimmers bodies.
These types of chloramines irritate the eyes and respiratory tract and can even aggravate asthma. Healthy swimming depends on what we swimmers bring into the pool—and what we keep out of it. We all share the water we swim in, and we each need to do our part to keep ourselves, our families, and our friends healthy, an Ionia County Health Department news release said.
Here are a few simple and effective safety steps all of us can take each time we swim:
• Stay out of the water if you have diarrhea.
• Shower before you get in the water.
• Don’t pee or poop in the water.
• Don’t swallow the water. Every hour—everyone out.
• Take kids on bathroom breaks.
• Check diapers, and change them in a bathroom or diaper changing area—not poolside.
• Reapply sunscreen.
• Drink plenty of fluids. //
Just 2 1/2 hours of water-based physical activity a week has health benefits across a lifetime. Water based physical activity can protect the health of pregnant women by helping to regulate body temperature and minimize stress on joints during exercise as well as helping to prevent or control diabetes brought on by pregnancy.
Water based physical activity also improves women’s bone health after menopause and improves older adults’ ability to carry out everyday activities. The health benefits for children are wide-reaching, as well.
Healthy swimming is not just about the steps the pool operators and pool inspectors take—so let’s all do our part to help keep ourselves, our families, and our friends healthy this summer and year-round.