Beautiful women in pool.

Pool PH Matters To Your Health

Aah, the pool!  Owning one has to be one of the ultimate signs of luxury.  When we were growing up, weren’t the kids with the pools the most popular kid on the block?  A pool meant hours of fun on those slow summer days when time just doesn’t seem to pass.

When we grow older, the pool is equally as alluring.  A pool is one of the key ingredients for a party.  Just add beverages, food, people and music.  This is why pools are such an enticement to advertise property.  What is a 40 million dollar mansion without a pool?  Hey, even a one bedroom is better if the building has a pool.  That is why this is bad news for so many people.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, a report published in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report confirmed that thousands of public pools, hot tubs and similar public services are closed each year in the US because of safety issues.  In fact, based on over 84,000 inspections of 48,000 such facilities, 80% were cited with at least one violation in Texas, New York, Florida, Arizona and California.  Out of those, one in eight had to be closed immediately due to the intensity of the violation.

Kiddie pools and wading pool top the list.  It’s unfortunate that our most prized possessions are also our naughtiest.  One in five wading and kiddie pools were closed for violating health policies, the most common of those being improper pH levels, safety equipment issues and problems with disinfectant concentration.

The Chlorine Factor
Normally, chlorine and other disinfectants and chemicals are added to swimming pool to kill the germs.  However, a study from the journal, “Environmental Science and Technology”  found when these chemical mix with “human inputs,” typically urine, sweat and cosmetics they produce disinfection byproducts that damage cells. This can lead to asthma, bladder cancer, and other health issues.

What Can You do

  • Check inspection Reports:Make sure to look at the date to make sure they were done recently
  • Keep clean:  Experts say that disinfection byproducts can be lower by cleaning spas and changing water in the pool more often and making sure that people shower before swimming.
  • Check Children’s Diapers:  Diarrhea and swimming never mix well.  Take your kids for bathroom breaks and check their diapers.
  • Use a pH strip: Look for a free chlorine concentration of at least 1 ppm in pools and 3ppm in hot tubs and spas.
  • Look for a free bromine concentration of at least 3 ppm in pools and 4 ppm in hot tubs/ spas. Look for a pH of 7.2-7.8

Make Sure Drain Covers are Secure and There is a Lifeguard On Duty

So, don’t stop swimming.  Swimming is good for you!  It relieves stress and improves muscle tone and its a whole lot of fun.  Just be the smart one at the pool.

Woman swimming

Public Pool Safety

Summer is here! The temperature is going up, and we are heading to the pool! Trips to the public pool should be fun, so follow these tips this summer to ensure that nothing will ruin your weekend!

Be Aware of Health Standards
We hate to say it, but some pools have been fined or closed for violating health and safety standards. When choosing a public pool to belong to for the summer, ask when the facility was last inspected. Management is usually happy to show you that they are in compliance with all safety standards, and you will get peace of mind!

Stay Hydrated!
Staying hydrated is one of the most important summer tips. Heat stroke and heat exhaustion can be a big problem during the summer months, and extended sun exposure can cause you serious harm if you aren’t drinking enough water.

Woman applying sunscreen

Slather on the Sunscreen
This is a no brainer. A long day at the pool can be a recipe for disaster if you’re not properly protecting your skin. It is a good idea to put on your sunscreen before you leave the house, at least 15 minutes before you’ll be out in the sun. Also, give your sunscreen plenty of time to sink in, and make sure that you aren’t rubbing off your SPF with your clothing. It’s easy to lose track of time during a day in the sun, but it is important to reapply your sunscreen every few hours- even more often when you’re in the water! The instructions on the bottle will let you know exactly how often to reapply any particular brand. Keep your skin protected at the pool, and don’t let an angry sunburn follow you to work on Monday!

Know Your Surroundings
This is especially important if you have kids. Anytime you are around water, there is danger, regardless of how well you or your family members know how to swim. Public pools can be crowded, and though lifeguards are well trained, it is possible that they will miss a warning sign if there are a lot of people to watch. Make sure you know where you kids are at all times. If you, or anyone in your family, are not  strong swimmers, take a special note of what areas of the pool are safe to be in, and what areas to avoid (deep water, steep inclines, drains, etc). Also, make sure that these areas are properly roped off to decrease the chances of mistakenly entering an unsafe area.

 

Don’t Go Overboard
No, we don’t mean falling into the water. It’s easy to lose track of time when you’re having fun in the sun, but it is important to not go overboard, and limit your sun exposure. Too much sun during peak hours can cause serious burns, fatigue, dizziness, heat rash, and several other not so fun complications. Play it safe, and take breaks from the sun every so often so you can enjoy the pool all summer long!