If you’ve ever read the rules of a public pool, you may have stumbled across a rule about showering before you enter the water. Not many people pay attention to this rule— some might not even know it exists. However, showering before and after a dip in the pool is extremely important for hygiene and the overall health of everyone swimming. Read on to learn why!
Showering before entering the pool offers a lot of benefits, such as protecting your skin and hair from chlorine damage. The most important reason, however, is to prevent recreational water illnesses such as diarrhea and skin/eye infections. No matter how clean we look, people actually have small amounts of bodily fluids and fecal matter on their bodies throughout the day. Showering before you get into the pool washes away these particles, which even in small amounts can make people sick if ingested.
On top of this, mixing organic compounds (such as deodorant, sweat, and other bodily fluids) together with chlorine creates gas by-products known as chloramines. When inhaled, they can cause irritation to the respiratory system. This can be prevented by rinsing any organic compounds off of your body before swimming.
While chlorine is an effective way of disinfecting and is found in most pools, it should be known that chlorine can take some time to start working. At times it may start taking effect after only a few minutes, while sometimes it may also take several days. Showering before you swim is a good precaution to take for the safety of everyone in the pool.
More people are familiar with showering after swimming. This is done to promote healthy hair, good skin, and proper hygiene. Showering removes chlorine from your skin and hair, which can have a drying and irritating effect. It also removes any contaminants from the pool that may have stuck onto your body.
So when you shower, make sure to properly shampoo and use a good conditioner on your hair. Soap your body and moisturize with lotion afterwards. You may also want to consider using a vitamin c spray before showering to unlink the choline bonded to your body. Lastly, don’t forget to rinse off your swimsuit as well!
Make sure to hit the shower before and after your swimming session! It may require some extra effort, but your overall wellness— and that of everyone else in the pool— is well worth it!