Swimming Pool Myths

swimming pool mythsSpend any time poolside, and you will invariably encounter talk of swimming pool myths.  It would seem five aquatic legends have been passed along season after season.  Instead of buying into the lore, Sun Covers Canada believes is it time to set the facts straight.

Swimming Pool Myth #5: Swimming is not good for children with asthma.
The Facts – Swimming in a well-maintained, ventilated (indoor) pool is an excellent way for asthmatics of all ages to increase lung function.  Thanks to studies in Belgium and Spain, in addition to reviews by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the World Health Organization, and other public health units, swimming is considered a healthy form of exercise for children and adults living with asthma.

Swimming Pool Myth #4: Chlorine turns hair green
The Facts
– Chlorine may get the bad name, but copper in algaecide or metal plumbing is to blame.  A 1979 study (http://journal.scconline.org/pdf/cc1979/cc030n01/p00001-p00008.pdf) detailed the link between copper and hair discolouration.  Swimmers with light hair should consider wearing a swimming cap or use a copper removing shampoo after each plunge.

Swimming Pool Myth #3: “Red Eye” is caused by chlorine
The Facts – While chlorine has been attributed as the cause of “red eye”, it is not at fault.  Nitrogen from sweat and urine, when coupled with chlorine in pool water, causes chloramines to form.  Swimmers who report respiratory, skin or eye irritations are likely dealing with a chloramine irritation.  The surprising solution to chloramines?  Add more chlorine!

Swimming Pool Myth #2: If you pee in the pool, a dye will activate, and colour the water around you
The Facts – More than 50% of the population think pool operators and private owners utilize an additive or dye to give away people who pee in water.  Sadly, there is no such solution.  Peeing in the pool is unsanitary, and can cause nasty irritants by using up chlorine (see Myth #3).  Leave the pool, use the bathroom, and remember to shower before reentering the water.  Common courtesy goes a long way in keeping a pool environment healthy for all.

Swimming Pool Myth #1: Wait one hour after eating before going swimming
The Facts
– In a 1908 Scouting manual, swimmers were harshly warned of certain death by cramping.  “First, there is the danger of cramp. If you bathe within an hour and a half after taking a meal, that is, before your food is digested, you are very likely to get cramp. Cramp doubles you up in extreme pain so that you cannot move your arms or legs — and down you go. You may drown — and it will be your own fault.”

106 years later, and there has not been a single death or near-drowning experience related to eating before swimming.  In fact, there is little documentation to support cramping outside of typical overexertion in the hands, arms or legs.  Eat away, and splash right back into a pool noodle fight.

Happy swimming!

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