TheraWise Blog

Are you one of the 58% that do this?

Are you one of those rare individuals who doesn’t mind occasionally letting go within the warm water confines of the public pool? Of course not.
And yet 58 percent of Canadians and 64 percent of Americans do admit to having peed in public pools. These are adults we’re talking about. If you’re bathing in the shallow pool with your child or infant, then the pee concentration as well as the chlorination level are naturally at their highest.
To be clear – bacteria are a fact of life. There are more foreigners living in and on our bodies than there are there are native cells. We’ve come to understand that many of these micro-organisms are vital to our health and well-being. Others are more or less harmless.
Finally, there are those bacteria that cause irritation or even disease. Fortunately we are well equipped to deal with undesirable bacteria most of the time.
In light of this, what can we make of this latest affirmation that public pools are kind of gross?
To be blunt about it – “gross” is a subjective thing. We are all, to some degree, germ-averse – and probably with good reason. Bacteria can kill and ought to be considered with respect. And let’s face it – bathing in water that contains other folks’ pee is an unappealing thought.
Personally, I do swim in public pools. I wouldn’t do this daily, but I always have fun swimming with my daughter and son once a week after swim lessons. On the other hand, if a specific pool led to red eyes or skin irritation, then I would stop using that facility.
I would not, on the other hand, bathe in the mouth of the river Ganges. In other words, when it comes to evaluating the quality of your bathwater, it will always be a matter of personal comfort, tempered by enough common sense to know when your body is experiencing an adverse reaction.
Maybe one thing we can do, is to petition our cities to build and maintain better pools. Given the choice, I always prefer ozonated pools over chlorinated ones. Even better is natural salt water. I live in a coastal city where such pools ought to be plentiful, but they are not.
And let the final words be addressed to those rare fifty-eight percenters who are guilty of making the public bathing experience a litter grosser for everyone else. DON’T pee in the pool!
DO use the shower before you enter the water.
Happy swimming.

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