If you’re a frequent visitor to a pool you’ve probably heard some whispers about swimming pool etiquette. We’re here to straighten out any waves, so you know which is truth and which is myth. Here are 5 popular swimming pool myths debunked:
#1 You need to wait one hour after eating to go swimming
As a child, you are often told that if you go into a pool soon after eating, you may experience cramps or a stitch leaving you unable to swim. This myth suggests you will be put at a risk of drowning. While this is a popular claim among parents, there isn’t any scientific evidence to back this up. However, exercising does direct the blood away from your digestion system and towards your limbs. So, if you swim soon after eating and your food is only half digested, this could make you feel nauseous.
#2 A strong smell of chlorine indicates a clean swimming pool
While this may be a myth you want to believe is true. If a pool has a strong smell of chlorine this actually indicates that contaminants have formed in the water. Yes, that’s right. A pool that has a strong smell of chlorine might have a larger concentration of urine and germs. When this contaminant builds up, pools become more and more unclean and carry the risk of spreading infections. It is better to look out for a pool which has little odour, as this is an indication that the pool is well-maintained and more sanitary.
#3 You don’t need to bother showering before entering a pool
While there are no direct or immediate implications to your health if you don’t shower before entering a pool, it is still important to shower prior to swimming, especially if you have just worked out. Even if you showered in the morning, we have natural body oils, sweat and other fluids on us at all times. So as common courtesy to everyone else using the pool, it is best to shower before you jump in.
#4 You will be able to see urine in the pool
There is no pool chemical which will reveal urine in a pool. However, if you are dehydrated, your urine may be a dark colour which could be easier to see within the water. 19% of adults have admitted to urinating in a swimming pool at least once in their life, and every pool that was included in a study conducted by the Guardian during 2017 found traces on urine in them. To avoid this and keep to appropriate swimming pool hygiene practices, make sure you exit the pool and visit a bathroom.
#5 Your hair turned green from the chlorine in the pool
Seeing your hair turn green after swimming is more common with individuals who have bleached blonde hair than any other hair colours. However, this tinting is not due to the concentration of chlorine levels in a swimming pool. It is in fact caused by metals present in the water that are used to control algae-growth, or that have leaked from the pipes, plumbing and fixtures. The most common metal found in swimming pools is copper, and this is the main culprit for tinting blonde hair green.
To prevent this from happening, try wearing a swimming cap or thoroughly rinsing your hair after leaving the pool to remove all chemical and metals.
Next time you visit a pool you’ll be up to scratch with swimming pool etiquette and you’ll know which myths to listen to and which to ignore, and dive right in!