As the current COVID-19 crisis unfolds in the United States, many Americans are trying to learn how best to keep themselves safe from bacteria and viruses. Governor Doug Ducey issued a stay-at-home order on March 30th until the end of April, which reflects the policies put in place by many other states across the country as well as the CDC-recommended social distancing guidelines. However, many Arizonans are still left to wonder what is safe and what isn’t during this time of crisis. For example, is it safe to swim in a pool during this time?
Yes, your backyard pool is safe to swim in during the current COVID-19 pandemic. Large social gatherings are banned for now, but swimming in a pool with the people you live with is both allowed and safe. However, there are a few things pool owners should be aware of during this time.
The CDC stated that there is no evidence that COVID-19 can be spread to humans through the use of pools or hot tubs: “Proper operation, maintenance, and disinfection (e.g., with chlorine and bromine) of pools and hot tubs should remove or inactivate the virus that causes COVID-19. Conventional water treatment methods that use filtration and disinfection, such as those in most municipal drinking water systems, should remove or inactivate the virus that causes COVID-19.”
While it’s no mystery as to why many pool owners are most concerned about COVID-19 right now, the CDC reminds pool owners about other potentially unforeseen health hazards. The CDC states that while chemicals like chlorine are used to kill germs and stop them from spreading, mishandling pool chemicals can cause injuries. To prevent injuries, the CDC recommends that owners of residential pools or hot tubs read and follow the directions on product labels of any pool chemicals before using them.
“When swimmers don’t shower before getting in pools, hot tubs/spas, or water playgrounds — or pee in the water — free chlorine (the form of chlorine that kills germs) combines with pee, poop, sweat, dirt, and personal care products,” the CDC says. “This means there is less free chlorine to kill germs, and (as a result) unwanted chemical compounds are produced.”
One of the unwanted chemical compounds the CDC is referencing is called chloramine. Chloramines make swimmers’ eyes red and sting and can cause skin irritation, rashes, and respiratory problems.
The following are tips from the CDC when it comes to swimming in public places. These tips, while maybe not quite as useful now, are certainly something to keep in mind following the COVID-19 pandemic to protect yourself and your family.
In addition to the concern about coronavirus, many pool owners may be concerned with other health issues when it comes to their backyard pools.
Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are caused when bacteria travel up the urethra and to the bladder. The bacteria can come from mistreated pool water. People who often suffer from urinary tract infections can try to avoid them by showering immediately after swimming and changing out of wet clothes or bathing suits as soon as possible. If swimmers suspect they’ve gotten a UTI after swimming, they should contact a doctor. Most likely, the doctor will prescribe either an antibiotic or an antifungal medication to treat the infection.
Ear irritation after swimming in a pool may be what’s known as swimmer’s ear rather than a contagious ear infection. Swimmer’s ear is an outer ear canal infection and does not spread between people. The infection is caused by water that has been in the ear canal too long, allowing bacteria to grow. If someone in your home is prone to swimmer’s ear, make sure to wear swimming earplugs or eardrops designed to help prevent swimmer’s ear. After swimming, make sure to always dry ears well with a towel and tip the head to drain as much water from the ear canal as possible.
If you’re stuck at home and canceling that vacation, now’s the time to plan your custom pool. Contact an experienced pool builder at Specialty Pools today. With decades of experience in the area, no other pool builder in the area can offer the types of backyard oases available from Specialty Pools. Call now!