Wherever we go, there are always rules and social cues to follow. From government laws, to simple behavioral etiquette, rules are in place to keep order and safety at all times. In casual settings like swimming in a pool with friends, we aren't always aware of these things, but knowing proper swim etiquette can not only save lives but also avoid untoward situations and conflict in the pool.
Before we even get to the water, we first need to think about proper swim attire. There are many different options to choose from but as a general rule, whatever style you decide on, the material of the clothing matters. According to a fabric experts, the best material for swimwear is a polyester/elastane combination also known as Spandex, but other synthetic materials like nylon, polyester, and neoprene have also been widely used to make swimwear. They make good fabrics for swimwear because compared to natural fabrics, synthetic fabrics also have fast-drying properties that make these swimwear lighter, durable, and convenient to use in the water.
Material of swimwear matters because we not only want to wear flattering swimwear, but also get something that will give us the support we need for its function. In the past, swimwear was made with natural fabrics like wool, but we know that natural fabrics don't have flexibility and soak up water that makes the clothing heavy and mishapen. On that note, one absolute no-no that we'd like to mention is to not wear under garments to the pool. No matter how nice-looking one's undies could be, they do not belong in the pool. They are not only inappropriate, they are very unhygienic since they possibly carry bodily fluids and dirt from wearing them throughout the day--especially considering the materials they are made of.
Showering, Wounds, and Bandages
Ever think it's odd to shower before stepping into a pool? The purpose of this is to really get rid of particles and dirt that would otherwise just end up in the pool and stay there. In a general sense, it is more hygeinic and prevents the possibility of contracting communicable bacterias and parasites from the pool due to these unhealthy elements. Just the same way as going into the pool, showering after swimming is also advisable to rinse off the chlorine on our skin that can definitely dry the skin out. Showering is a way we can keep the pool as clean and pure as we possibly can so it is a good habit to practice.
Once in a while, we would have scrapes and wounds and normally it's okay to swim with them for as long as it is safe to do so and it won't cause anybody else problems. However, if the wound still secretes fluids and is not totally dry, it is best wait until it gets better. When it comes to bandages and wound coverings, it would be best to use a waterproof one or one that would really adhere to the skin because it would be gross to see floating bandages and gauzes around the pool, nobody wants that!
Restrooms and Diapers
It goes without saying that peeing in the pool is not allowed, but since there isn't a way to really check, people do it anyway. Let's admit, we all have done it at least once in our lives, but that doesn't make it okay. Bodily fluids like urine can definitely change the PH level of the pool water and can really mess up the acidity levels which can be unsafe in certain situations.
For younger kids who still get potty accidents, swim diapers are their mom's best friends; but in the pool, it isn't always a welcome sight. When bringing little ones in diapers, it would also be good to have them tell you when they need to go pee or poop just to lessen the bacteria that gets into the water and prevent unwanted accidents.
Stop, Look, and Listen
Now that we're all set to join in the fun, take a moment to stop, look, and listen for anything that would possibly harm/obstruct you or anyone else as you jump-in. Just the same with crossing the street and following traffic signs, we take these extra precautions for our safety and the safety of others as well. We wouldn't like to accidentally jump on someone in the water or maybe cut someone who is doing laps. When in the pool, always be aware of your surroundings, watching over yourself and others.
No Rough Play
It is always good to watch out for people in the pool before jumping in. This especially applies to diving. Usually pools will have designated areas for diving that would have the proper depth for diving. Another thing to avoid doing when going in and out of the pool is running and doing rough play in general. If you have children, make sure they engage in safe play and games that will not potentially endanger them into drowning or slipping.
Speaking of other people, splashing around can be fun, but not when you don't intend to get splashed on by someone you don't even know. Splashing and making loud noises in public pools can be annoying, so it would be best to be considerate of others and keep the fun within your own group.
Leave Nothing Behind
Typically public pools will not allow eating or smoking cigarettes in and near the pool, but in the event that they do allow these things, be sure to clean up after yourself. Leave no trace of food, trash, or any personal belongings behind.
These guidelines are some basic reminders to be polite and considerate of the people around us. They are guidelines can definitely be applied for each swim opportunity (including beach ones!). These reminders will ensure safe and conflict-free days in the pool. Happy splashing!