To Swim Or Not To Swim? That Is The Question.
There are lots of different instances when you and members of your family should refrain from swimming in a pool or spa. As a handy reference guide, here's some information about when you should stay on the side-lines during the hot weather instead. To swim during these times could be potentially hazardous, as the water easily passes on bacterial infection either to yourself or other swimmers.
Can I take children into the pool before or after their vaccinations?
The short answer is yes! You can take your children into the pool both before and after they've been vaccinated. Some swimming centres will say that they prefer for babies to have all of their jabs before getting into the pool. However, this idea possibly dates back to when polio was common and people were concerned about the disease spreading through water. However, polio is pretty much eradicated in Australia now and so there's no need for babies or children to have all of their vaccinations before they jump into the pool. If your baby does get side-effects, such as a fever after the vaccination, you should wait until this goes before swimming.
Scott Van Der Chijs Flickr.
Can I swim after getting a piercing?
You shouldn't swim in a pool, the sea or a fresh-water river until the piercing has healed properly. Swimming earlier than this may cause the piercing to get infected. The healing time will depend on where the piercing is on your body and how you care for it.
Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, however if you have recently got a piercing, chances are that this summer you will need to forgo swimming. The healing times are as follows:
- Ears: 6 weeks.
- Belly Button: Up to 1 year.
- Nose: Up to 3 months.
- Eyebrow: Up to 3 months.
- Labret: Up to 3 months.
Instead of diving into pools, do the right thing by your piercing and keep it clean and dry with a sterile alcohol or saline solution.
Can I swim with Swimmer's Ear (Otitis Externa)?
Generally yes you can swim with swimmer's ear. Although the illness is actually caused by swimming, so precautions need to be taken to stop it from getting worse. You should swim with waterproof ear-plugs or a swimming cap that protects your ears.
Swimmer's Ear or Otitis externa is the inflammation of the external ear canal. It's common with competitive swimmers and people who spend lots of time in the pool. It's caused by repeated exposure to the water. The symptoms include ear pain that can be moderate to severe, puss discharge from the ear and temporary hearing loss. The chlorinated water clears out the ear wax from the ear, leaving it feeling itchy and vulnerable to bacteria entering into the ear canal. Swimmer's Ear can be treated easily in a few days with ear drops and pain killers. In severe cases, the illness persists and needs to be treated with antibiotics.
Can I swim when I've had Diarrhoea or Cryptosporidiosis (Crypto)?
Actually if the doctor has diagnosed you with Crypto then it's important to not go swimming for at least 14 days after the diarrhoea stops. If you have had diarrhoea recently but don't know the cause, then make sure that you allow 14 days to pass before getting into the pool or spa. The reason is that despite the presence of chlorine in pools, this isn't enough to kill off bacteria. This will linger around for quite a long time afterwards. These germs carry easily in the water and can make other people sick.
Evil Erin Flickr
The Essential Steps For Bacteria-Free Swimming
- Keep your swimming pool pH levels and chlorine levels at the recommended level.
- Keep your pool or spa clean and free of debris and fallen leaves.
- Don't swim if you have recently had diarrhoea.
- Have a shower with soap before swimming in the pool or spa.
- Wash your hands thoroughly after changing nappies.
- Avoid swallowing pool water.
Here's a helpful guide about adding pool chemicals to pools from the Chlorine Institute.
We hope that you've found this guide to when you can and can't swim really helpful. Remember, that although it's hot, you can't be gung-ho about these things. Speak with Evoheat for more timely advice about heating and cooling systems for your pool, spa, home or workplace.
NHS Choices. ''Can my baby go swimming before or after vaccinations?''; http://www.nhs.uk/chq/pages/1035.aspx .
NHS Choices. ''Can I go swimming after a piercing?''; http://www.nhs.uk/chq/pages/2297.aspx .
NHS Choices. ''Otitis externa'' http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Otitis-externa/Pages/Introduction.aspx
''Healthy Swimming: Help Keeping Your Pool Clean'' Department of Health. Victorian Government, Australia. Published 5th March 2013. http://docs.health.vic.gov.au/docs/doc/6F9F699A6A07DA5DCA257C35007F22DC/$FILE/healthy-swimming-brochure-2013-web.pdf