Summer is coming soon, so you know what that means? Beach life and swimming pool parties! I bet you like to hang out in swimming pools, and seriously who doesn’t! But look, if you’re planning to hit the public swimming pool in your area this summer or take your family with you, especially children, you need to be super careful. Why? Because whether we like it or not, there are hidden dangers that we should be aware of. A swim in a public swimming pool can cost you more than you bargained for; factors compromising your health, safety, and more.

Stay alert and find out all about why you should avoid public swimming pools at all costs!* Let’s jump right in!

1. E. coli and Salmonella 

Do you ever accidentally drink the water in the swimming pool? Ew… The water could be contaminated with bacteria or viruses from fecal matter such as bacteria E.coli and Salmonella, which cause nausea, diarrhea, stomach flu (from Salmonella), and in some cases, urinary tract infection.  Remember that the water in public swimming pools is not a clean, safe place, especially for kids. Kids have a fragile immune system, so you must protect them from the lurking dangers of infected pools.

2. Electric shock 

Now you might think that getting electrocuted is far-fetched, then you’re very wrong! According to statistics from the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), there have been 14 deaths related to electrocutions in swimming pools in the past few years. If you’re not sure how that happens, think about pool lights, sound systems, and other electrical wires in the pool or surrounding area. The idea of getting electrocuted or witnessing a loved one get electrocuted while swimming is horrifying. So, while it may not happen every day, it’s still something that we’d rather avoid completely by just not swimming at a public swimming pool!

3. Chlorine dangers

For something that is supposed to keep the swimming pool clean, chlorine can bring more trouble than good. In fact, when chlorine mixes with sweat, dirt, or even urine (for god’s sake, don’t pee in pools!), it becomes a cauldron of germs and viruses. Not only will you end up with red eyes, but chlorine may also trigger asthma attacks.

Chlorine can cause lung irritation, skin conditions, burns, blisters, and hives. Sounds fun, huh?!

4. Legionnaires’ Disease

“Legion”… what? Well, let me tell you about this disease. Legionnaires’ Disease is a severe form of pneumonia whose symptoms include high fever, muscle pain, headaches, diarrhea, cough, shortness of breath, and nausea/vomiting. This disease is very present in swimming pools, namely the water vapor released and breathed by swimmers. It can only take two days or so after getting exposed to the bacteria before you start manifesting the symptoms.

5. Swimmer’s ear

Swimmer’s ear is a condition where the outer ear canal gets infected due to chlorine found in swimming pools, in addition to disinfectants and high pH levels. This mixture is catastrophic as it plagues your ears with bacterial growth and fungus, causing itchiness, wellness, pain, pus, and a plugged-up feeling in the ears. Swimming with other people in public swimming pools increases the risk of contracting bacteria and viruses, resulting in conditions like Swimmer’s ear. And those were the top 5 reasons you should avoid swimming pools. So if you still want to visit your local swimming pool this summer, good luck with that!