2023 Author: Anita Thornton | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-11-27 18:44
The warm season is in full swing and you think you've finally got rid of the winter germs that made your life hard? You are forgetting the germs that proliferate during the summer!
Sorry, germs don't take vacations! Even in summer, an impressive panoply of germs can make us sick! Think West Nile Virus or hantavirus well camouflaged in summer homes that have been closed all winter. And have you thought about the germs contained in swimming pools, paddling pools, Spa? Oh yes? Can swimming make me sick?
What can I catch in a pool?
The most common infection is diarrhea. Next come eye and ear infections, respiratory infections and skin infections. Diarrhea is easily transmitted in a swimming pool! Yes, 0.14 grams of stool (the size of a pea) is dissolved in water every time a person bathes in it! Can you imagine the amount of dissolved stools in a wave pool where 100 or even 200 people bathe at the same time?
Can I catch infections at the beach or in lakes?
Yes, absolutely. Some germs survive longer in s alt water. Other germs live naturally in lakes or are brought there by animals or their feces. Don't forget, fountains in cities and ponds with stagnant water can also be a significant source of pathogenic germs!
But who is susceptible to infection from bathing water?
All! On the other hand, the weakest always remain easy prey for microbes. Children, the elderly, pregnant women, sick people (cancer, AIDS and others) remain the most vulnerable.
But doesn't chlorine kill germs?
Of course he destroys them, he even destroys them all. On the other hand, its disinfectant effect takes TIME, hours or days to disinfect, depending on the germ. And it is precisely during this time that you contract infections! Even a well maintained swimming pool can be the transmission route for germs, so imagine those that are less well maintained…
What about my private pool then?
For private pools, the recommended chlorine content is between 1 and 3 ppm (parts per million) of active chlorine (between 3 and 8ppm for Spas). The small test strips are very useful in this regard.
It is not necessary to add more chlorine than the amount usually recommended, but we must maintain our pool well and ensure that this concentration is as constant as possible. So it's better to put a little chlorine every day than a big amount once a week.to inactivate germs. But the first rule to respect is not to bathe when you are sick!
How do we do then, we forget the pool?
No, not at all! But here are some tips to avoid contracting or transmitting an infection from bathing water.
- Do not swim if you have diarrhea or infectious diseases; you could contaminate the water.
- Avoid swimming if you have wounds or wounds.
- Many people mistakenly believe that chlorinated water or s alt water will disinfect their wounds, they are completely wrong; on the contrary, they risk becoming infected.
- Above all, DO NOT SWALLOW water from swimming pools, lakes, beaches, etc. The entry route for germs is often the mouth during swimming.
- Avoid placing objects in wading pools that encourage children to drink the water, such as cups and buckets; give children balloons or other non-incentive items instead.
- Rinse well before swimming and after.
- Do not change diapers by the poolside.
- A "bathing suit" diaper specially made for little ones is not effective in preventing water contamination. They retain only stool (the largest) and not urine. As they are practical and easy to put on and take off, change them often! They are in no way a guarantee for other swimmers. If a child has a bowel movement in this diaper, it will still dissolve inwater!
- Wash your hands after using the toilet or changing a diaper.
- Wear goggles or masks to look in the water.
- If you are one of those at risk: avoid the busiest swimming spots…
In Quebec, a program called Environnement-Plage informs us about the quality of bathing water on our beaches. Ratings from A to D are assigned for the microbiological quality of the beaches. You can see the results for beaches in your area on the ministry's site.
Do you feel like swimming anymore?
Let's go! Stick to these little tips and you probably won't have any problems this summer. Just be aware of this and you'll save yourself a lot of trouble, especially if you have kids!
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