Green Summer: Practice Safe Swimming

| 6/23/2010 12:09:27 PM

Sunny Saturday afternoons were meant for lying by the pool and reading a good book. While my days of playing Marco Polo are long gone, I still like to get in the pool to cool off. The cold water does the trick to beat the heat, but I’m always left with a gross, chemical feeling when I get out.

That chemical feeling comes from the large amount of chlorine in the water, used to sanitize pools and keep the water looking sapphire-blue. Not only does it make your hair and skin feel dry and irritated, it has been linked to asthma and allergies. I thankfully didn’t develop any respiratory ailments from my years spent in the water, but I’ll definitely take more precautions from now on. 

 Swimming Pool 
Cool off on a hot summer day with a quick dip in the pool. But before you jump in, consider these health risks and take the necessary precautions. Photo By pixelpercy/Courtesy Flickr.

Here are some tips for how to enjoy a healthy day at the pool: 

• Take a shower before getting into the water. It may sound silly, but getting your hair wet before jumping in will keep it healthy. If the hair follicle is already wet, it won’t absorb as much of the chlorinated water, protecting it from drying out. 

• Rinsing off before getting in the pool also cleans the bacteria off your body, which means the chlorine doesn’t have to work as hard. More bacteria = more sanitation needed. Chlorine doesn’t kill all bacteria instantly, so washing off will help keep the pool cleaner for all swimmers.