There are steps you can take to keep you and your loved ones from getting a recreational water illness. They're painful and can make you feel ill for days. Since RWIs are transmitted through pool germs, you should take good care of yourself and your pool – here's how.
Hit the showers
For starters, it's important to shower before getting in the water. Oftentimes, people think this is important because it washes off lotions, but the reasons span far beyond that one. It's to get rid of any germs, urine and fecal matter.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stated that anyone entering the pool should wash with soap and water beforehand. If you get out of the pool for a bathroom break, be sure to rinse off again – you don't necessarily have to use soap.
Change diapers frequently
What's more, if you bring your baby in the water with you, change their diapers every 30 to 60 minutes, suggested the source. It's important to do this away from the pool area to prevent germs from getting into the water.
Although cloth diapers are touted for being eco-friendly, they aren't necessarily better if you're planning on taking your baby for a swim. According to Global Post, special swim diapers are recommended for babies who aren't potty trained because they can reduce the risk of spreading RWIs. After a diaper change, clean your baby with a wipe cloth.
Don't swim if you're sick
If you're feeling under the weather, you should avoid swimming in the pool because your condition can worsen. According to the Mayo Clinic, moderate exercise is okay if you don't have a fever and if all of your symptoms revolve around the following: running nose, congestion, sneezing, cold and minor sore throat.
Any symptoms that are "below the neck" are an indication that you shouldn't swim in the pool. Avoid exercise all together if your muscles hurt and you have a fever, advised the source. It's particularly important to stay out of the water if you have diarrhea because fecal matter spreads disease, according to the CDC.
Monitor pool chemicals
In addition to taking these precautions, be sure to frequently monitor and balance the chemicals in your swimming pool. Chlorine is responsible for killing germs and pathogens in the water but some are immune to it. What's more, the time it takes to kill a germ varies depending on what it is, reported the CDC. For example, Cryptosporidium, also known as Crypto, can live in chlorinated water for days.
Get your chemical levels balanced frequently. Call Fort Worth, San Diego or Phoenix pool service professionals for assistance. They can make sure an appropriate amount of chlorine is in your water. You can request a service so that they come to your home routinely for chemical balances. It's one less thing you have to worry about.
Keep yourself and your pool clean so you don't get an RWI. No one wants to get sick or infect other people.