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Guess Who’s Peeing in the Pool?

Guess Who’s Peeing in the Pool?

So who’s peeing in the pool? Kids, adults, and olympic athletes, that’s who.

See that kid with a funny look on his face? Chances are he’s peeing in the pool. A recent study shows that one in five swimmers admit to peeing in the pool. And that’s just the ones who admit to it. It turns out that 84 percent of us are fairly certain that it’s those other swimmers who are doing something to make the pool less healthy.

Even top athletes are doing it. “Nearly 100 percent of elite competitive swimmers pee in the pool,” according to Carly Geehr, former USA Swimming National Team Member, in an article on Quora.

So how clean is the water in the pool? A survey conducted by the Water Quality and Health Council reveals that almost half of Americans say they’ve engaged in unhygienic behavior (including not showering) in and around the pool.

Despite the suspicion that other swimmers are less than hygienic, only about a third say that they give pool cleanliness any thought. Less than a quarter think about how often the pool is cleaned or what chemicals are used.

It’s not only pee you should be concerned about. Illness can be spread from when swimmers fail to shower before going in the pool. Infants and toddlers with soiled diapers are another common problem. Coming into contact with, or swallowing contaminated water can lead to recreational water illnesses. These include gastrointestinal, skin, ear, respiratory, eye, neurologic, and wound infections. The most common among these is diarrhea, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which shares these healthy swimming tips:

  • Don’t swallow the pool water. Avoid getting water in your mouth.
  • Don’t swim when you have diarrhea. You can spread germs in the water and make other people sick.
  • Practice good hygiene. Shower with soap before swimming and wash your hands after using the toilet or changing diapers. Germs on your body end up in the water.

If you have young children:

  • Take your kids on bathroom breaks or check diapers often. Waiting to hear “I have to go” may mean that it’s too late.
  • Change diapers in a bathroom or a diaper-changing area and not at poolside. Germs can spread in and around the pool.
  • Wash your child thoroughly (especially the rear end) with soap and water before swimming. Invisible amounts of fecal matter can end up in the pool.

More information about pool health and safety can be found at www.healthypools.org and www.cdc.gov/healthyswimming.

Related Reading
Pool Safety Tips
Beach Safety Tips
Heatwave Survival Tips

Photo copyright: iStockphoto/Thinkstock

Read more: Babies, Children, Family, General Health, Health, Health & Safety, Home, Life, Teens,

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Ann Pietrangelo

Ann Pietrangelo is the author of No More Secs! Living, Laughing & Loving Despite Multiple Sclerosis and Catch That Look: Living, Laughing & Loving Despite Triple-Negative Breast Cancer. She is a freelance writer and member of the American Society of Journalists and Authors. Follow on Twitter @AnnPietrangelo

131 comments

+ add your own
3:46PM PST on Jan 18, 2013

nice

2:35PM PDT on Oct 3, 2012

ewwwww.

8:17AM PDT on Aug 22, 2012

Oh my!

10:44PM PDT on Aug 20, 2012

Ok, most of us have peed in the pool as a kid...but why do elite competitive swimmers do it as adults? That seems a bit odd to me-not to mention unhygenic.

3:54PM PDT on Aug 20, 2012

um sorry, but this is a rather dumb topic to be blogging about.

12:37AM PDT on Aug 20, 2012

Good health info, thanks..

4:43AM PDT on Aug 18, 2012

don't tell

5:16PM PDT on Aug 13, 2012

When I was young, I remember it being the biggest joke if you got caught peeing in the pool. I haven't swam in a pool in many decades now; now I swim in the lakes and rivers around our house and I often think about the fish peeing in the water...lol.

10:41AM PDT on Aug 13, 2012

Sick

8:17PM PDT on Aug 12, 2012

Good work. As a pool designer and builder, enjoyed the effort.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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