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A recent survey conducted by the Water Quality and Health Council in America found that every 1 out of 5 Americans admit to using the public swimming pool as their toilet. In other words, they urinate in the pools. Aside from that, another 7 out of 10 Americans admitted that they didn’t take a shower before entering the pool. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the purpose of taking a shower before entering the pool is to get rid of any sweat, cosmetics or dirt on our bodies. If we do not do so and these dirt get mixed with the chlorine in the pool water, it can create irritants.

“These irritants, not the chlorine itself, cause red eyes when we swim and the strong chemical smell of some pools” said Michele Hlavsa, the chief of the CDC’s Healthy Swimming Program. Therefore, we must act responsibly and maintain our hygiene even before entering the pool. Always take a shower with shampoo, soap and water before entering the pool to prevent contamination of the water and affecting others. Contamination can lead to both ear infections and skin infections.

“Swimming is not a substitute for bathing. Too many people unknowingly treat the pool as a communal bathtub. It may seem counterintuitive, but it’s important to shower before you jump in the pool to help keep swimming healthy for everyone in the pool,” said Dr. Chris Wiant, the chairman of the Water Quality and Health Council.

In Singapore, our public swimming complexes are maintained as clean as possible by the cleaners and lifeguards. However, we have our own role to play as well. There would not be anyone to check if we have taken a shower before entering the pool because this is something that is expected of a hygienic person. Nobody likes being labelled as an unhygienic individual. Hence, we have to act accordingly. Aside from that, never mistake a swimming pool for a toilet. It is extremely unhygienic and inconsiderate to urinate in the pools. It is open for the public and one shouldn’t treat it like their own. If you are afraid that your children aren’t able to control their bladder, try taking them on frequent toilet breaks to prevent such things from occurring. It is not just unhygienic, it is just as embarrassing. Lastly, if you notice anyone taking a leak in the pools, approach the nearest lifeguard and inform them. Such behaviour shouldn’t be tolerated as it can potentially harm other swimmers.

Looking for swimming lessons? Check out Happy Fish Swim School’s website. We provide only certified instructors to aid you in your learning journey!