Poop in the Pool -- It's There, How Do You Feel About It?

Cynthia Dermody
Healthy Living

Summer Survival Guide

bacteria in pools

Photo by CamsMom82208

I'm part water rat, and after a full day of swimming in our pool when I was little, my mother used to tell me, "Well, you sure don't need a bath tonight!"

Just now reading bltcahill's Journal post on all the yucky stuff that's floating around in swimming pools, I think Mom was mistaken.

bltcahill pointed out that chlorine doesn't kill everything. Several different forms of illness-causing parasites and bacteria have been found in pools, including ones that cause hand, foot, and mouth disease and herpangia. And, yes, they are spread through fecal matter ... poop!

We know it's in there, most of us just choose not to think about it imagine the chlorine erraticating it before it touches our skin. Nope. Those tiny poop molecules enjoy a good swim like the rest of us.

The question is what can we really do about it? And it's not just in pools but ponds, lakes, and the ocean.

There may not be anything we can do to get other people to wipe themselves better, but we can at least take precautions ourselves and with our own families. Here are some keep-it-clean tips from bltcahill's Journal:

  • Shower with soap BEFORE entering the pool.
  • Don't spit water.
  • Don't come to the pool if your'e sick.
  • Put your non-potty trained kid in a swim diaper, and change him in the locker room.
  • Wash your feet before going from the grass to the pool -- think: a dog litter box!

Do you enforce any of these rules yourself and with your family? Do you shower with soap before swimming or after?

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