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Shower Before Entering Pool Signs: Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Why is showering so important before entering the pool?

A.

Hygiene certainly takes the prime slot here since pools are mostly shared. Other important reasons include-

Removed Contaminants: Showering before entering the pool helps remove perspiration, body oils, cosmetics, traces of urine, and fecal matter usually present on everybody. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that people have about 0.14 grams of feces on their bottoms, contaminating pool water.

Reduce Diseases: Showering helps reduce the risk of waterborne illnesses like diarrhea for everyone sharing the pool.

Saves Money: Showering off sweat, skin creams, and sunscreens will put a much lower load on the pool filtration system, which would not have to work harder to keep the water clear, and the pool owner won't have to add as much chlorine.

Q. Can you deny entry to a guest at the pool who has not showered?

A.

Most state health codes like New Jersey’s prescribe that “The owner or operator shall conspicuously post rules governing admission, bathing, hours of operation, and conduct of patrons.” However, the authority to deny admission in case of violation of the ‘showering’ rule is not mentioned.

If a pool has posted an “All Bathers Must Shower Before Entering The Pool” sign, pool users are watchful of their actions. They would automatically assume that the management reserves the right to refuse pool service to anyone who has not showered. Most pool owners do not consider this as enforcement but rather as an encouragement for everyone’s hygiene and safety.

Q. Is showering necessary even if the pool water is chlorinated or sanitized?

A.

Yes. Although chlorine effectively kills most harmful organisms in pool water, not all are easily killed. Showering is necessary before entering chlorinated water, too, because if chlorine has to act on high levels of impurities (discharged from people entering the pool without showering), it may be unavailable to destroy germs in the water, especially if the pool chemistry is not being carefully adjusted.

Q. What are recreational water illnesses in public swimming pools?

A.

Germs and chemicals cause recreational water illnesses (RWIs) in the water we swim or play in. Swimming can cause skin, ear, nose, throat, and respiratory diseases. The most common recreational illness contracted during pool use is diarrhea caused by Cryptosporidium, E. coli O157, norovirus, or Shigella.

Other organisms that can infect swimmers are Hepatitis A (liver disease), Norwalk Virus (abdominal upset), Pseudomonas Bacteria (swimmer’s rash), and Giardia (parasite). Even pool chemicals like chlorine, bromine, and hydrochloric acid can cause ARI (Acute Respiratory Illness), AGI (acute gastrointestinal illness), and eye and skin diseases.

Q. How to properly shower before entering the swimming pool?

A.

Pre-swim showers can be ‘rinse showers’, taken while wearing your bathing suit, or ‘cleansing showers’, including cleaning the perianal area, a source of fecal pathogens.
CDC recommends that ‘Rinsing off in the shower for just 1 minute removes most of the dirt or anything else on your body that uses up chlorine or bromine needed to kill or inactivate germs.’ Using soap and hot water during showers prevents the transmission of bacteria and germs that can cause illness.

Q. Is it required to shower after swimming too?

A.

Yes. Showering after swimming helps eliminate the chlorine, and any foreign agents swimmers may have been exposed to in the pool.

Also, showering prevents the skin from becoming dry and helps get rid of the chlorine smell. Leaving chlorine on the body can enhance the chances of developing a ‘Chlorine rash’ that can multiply itself visibly in scaly, crusty patches, hives, tenderness, and swelling.

Q. Should one shower before entering a private pool as well?

A.

Yes, showering before entering a private pool is as important as showering before using a public pool. This is because bacteria don't see any difference between a shared pool and a backyard pool. Most public pools are very well-maintained because they need to function according to pool rules set by the local public health authorities. However, private pools like backyard pools may not be very well-maintained and safe. Therefore, showering before swimming in private pools should be a habit instead of a necessity.

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