Spring break arrived earlier this month, and public pools (in the West & South) are open for business, while colder climates prepare for theirs next month…so let’s begin with some manners in and around the pool areas. Etiquette seems to be lacking when hanging around pools, not to mention clothing (LOL). I am not old fashioned, but its improper to wear a suit that hardly fits, including aged suits which offer no elastic, barely covering areas that need to be covered. Please people, find a suit that’s comfortable and covers EVERYTHING, not just some things; this goes for everybody.

Let’s go over some easy etiquette for entering the pool water. It’s improper when going all in with a huge splash, blasting water on or around others; not everyone feels the same excitement when entering, so jumping or diving isn’t appropriate in a crowded area. For swimmers that like to get their exercise on, passing others in the pool is always on the left; its similar etiquette to driving, riding bicycles or skating…you will always pass on the left. Being that pools do get quite crowded at times, it would be nice if you would keep your toenails trimmed. I know as some get older, it becomes a daunting task, but this can get kind of gross. Have you ever seen a person lose their stance (feet slipping from bottom of pool) and accidentally kick someone (scratching them with sharp, long toenails) while trying to get back up? … Not so nice folks. Also, no perfumes, cosmetics, hair products (gel & sprays) or other products which have chemicals should be on your body if planning to enter a pool, which leads me now…to bring up the topic of diapers. If you are bringing children that must have diapers, PLEASE put a clean one on prior to entering the pool. It’s a FACT that children in diapers bring an average of 2 ½ Tbsp. of poop to the pool (even if you believe they’re clean) and 1 cup of pee. While I don’t want to just point fingers at the little people, the bigger ones are guilty of peeing in the pool also. This is just as disgusting and is the number one problem in ALL public pools. We were taught to use bathrooms, so why is it…that people think its okay to urinate in pools? Its basic hygiene and you should teach all of the children the same. People are under the misconception that if the pool has lots of chlorine, it will take care of the germs…WRONG. There is way too much YUCK in public pools to take care of everything. I use to think that as long as you could smell the chlorine… the pool should be clean, but I was wrong! It actually means that there’s an awful lot of YUCK (especially urine) that is mixing with the chlorine chemicals, so it actually makes the chlorine smell; GROSS FACT. Also, if you’re eyes burn (red) or nose stings or runs from taking in water, or causes you to sometimes cough…it is not the chlorine, it’s waste (that YUCK I discussed).

These are fun finding facts that may be found at www.cdc/gov/healthywater/swimming ; the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention. There is information on ‘how to keep public pools safe’ for everyone and it’s a fact that every year people become ill, some being hospitalized, due to contamination. The CDC puts out billboards (posts) warning those with upset stomachs and diarrhea. Under no circumstance should these people enter a pool, because it can (most likely will) cause illness to others. They also state that only 1 out of 5 adults are aware of this…so please refrain from entering pool waters if you have an upset tummy. The diseases Hepatitis A and Giardia have a moderate tolerance to chlorine, while Cryptosporidium has a very high tolerance; so you see…chlorine is not a ‘catch-all’ for eliminating germs and YUCK; many times causing serious illnesses. Arm yourself with knowledge this summer, and help keep our public pools safe for all to use, and don’t forget…cover yourself properly, after all…you are in public.

Make your week count.