POOLS AND WATERS ARE A GREAT PLACE TO RELAX AND EXERCISE, no matter if you’re STEPPING back from the heat or strengthening your back muscles. But the more often you find yourself in the water, the more obsessive the thought that something might go wrong. It also happens the other way around: it’s so comfortable in the aquatic environment that you don’t want to notice the dangers. We have collected popular myths about bathing and debunk them together with experts: the chief physician of the Gemotest Laboratory Olga Dekhtyareva, an expert at the Center for Molecular Diagnostics (CMD) of the Central Research Institute of Epidemiology of Rospotrebnadzor Timur Pesterev, therapist of the Medicina clinic, a doctor of the highest category Iraida Belyaeva, obstetrician-gynecologist Beauty Clinic by Boris Nemanov and open water swimming record holder, founder of the SwimRocket swimming school Nikita Kislov.
It’s easier to learn to swim in the sea
Despite the fact that salty seawater has a high density and it is easier to stay afloat in it, the sea is a natural body of water, and learning to swim in it is often complicated by waves, underwater currents, and marine life that can bite, sting or frighten. Therefore, the pool is the best place to meet this challenge. According to Nikita Kislov, record holder in open water swimming, there is no need to put an equal sign between swimming in a pool with seawater and in the sea: the concentration of salt in the sea is hundreds of times higher. But the difference between swimming in pools with sea and fresh water will be imperceptible.
You can’t drown in shallow water
Splashes into the respiratory tract, loss of consciousness or heart problems can lead to dire consequences even where the water is knee-deep. It is known of cases when children drowned at a depth of five centimeters – that is why, when bathing a child in a bathtub, one should not be distracted for a second, and it is better to ignore the ringing phone.
Nikita Kislov notes that it is important for those who are just learning to swim to overcome their fear of water first. To do this, you need to create the safest conditions around yourself that will not distract from learning. It is best to start in a pool in shallow water (if necessary, hold on to the side or ladder) under the guidance of a trainer. A professional will talk about safety rules in the water, explain how to keep your body afloat, and correct your movement technique.
in the pool turns purple water
In American comedies, you can see a scene: the hero is swimming in a pool – and suddenly a bright spot appears around him. After that, it is supposed to laugh or make a face, because almost every American knows: water begins to color when a special reagent interacts with urine.
This method of water purification was at one time used in public pools in America and Europe, but was quickly canceled due to the high cost and infringement of human dignity. True, sometimes in our country, next to the pool, you can find a sign informing about the presence of a dye in the water. The purpose of such a warning is to intimidate swimmers so that they do not have thoughts to pee in the water while swimming. In most modern pools, water is purified with ozone, but always with the addition of chlorine, because the latter is the best disinfectant for water.
Chlorinated water is bad for the skin
If you are not allergic to chlorine-containing disinfectants (skin redness and itching), swimming in the pool will only be beneficial. In addition, if the pool uses ozone water purification, the chlorine concentration will be reduced. Chlorinated water can actually dry out skin – especially dry or sensitive skin. Other factors also cause this effect: washing with soap, dry air due to the operation of an air conditioner or heater. Therefore, special care for problem skin is necessary in any case. If your skin is normal, after swimming in the pool, it is enough to shower and apply a moisturizer or lotion.
Swimming can lead to pregnancy
or HIV infection
According to the doctor Olga Dekhtyareva, the concentration of sexually transmitted infections (HIV, syphilis, gonorrhea, chlamydia and others) in the pool and water bodies is so low that the risk of infection while swimming is close to zero: if it gets into the external environment, microorganisms quickly die , and chlorine kills them even faster. At the same time, the likelihood of catching the human papillomavirus (HPV), for example, using someone else’s towel, exists.
It is also impossible to get pregnant in the pool : sperm in the external environment quickly die if special conditions are not created (as in sperm banks); in addition, even with a theoretical hit from the pool into the vagina, they are not able to reach the fallopian tubes, where conception occurs.
You can’t get fungus in a good pool
Unlike viral and bacterial infections, fungal infections in the pool are not uncommon. Only this does not happen in the water itself, but in the space surrounding the pool, even if all sanitary standards are observed there. A warm and humid alkaline environment encourages the growth of fungi that often inhabit pool sides and handrails, showers, rubber slippers, towels and bathrobes. The risk of infection is especially high if there is microtrauma on the skin or immunity is reduced, as well as in people with diabetes mellitus or thrombophlebitis and in adulthood.
To protect against fungal infections (mycoses), Olga Dekhtyareva advises not to walk barefoot outside the swimming area and not to sit on the side, after visiting the pool, take a shower with soap or gel, use only your own towel and your slippers, treating them with a chlorhexidine solution, and wipe dry your feet and the space between your toes after a shower. It also does not hurt to apply an antifungal cream or varnish for prevention.
After bathing in salt water, you can skip the shower
Pure fresh water helps not only cleanse the skin of bacteria, fungi and eliminate the smell of bleach, but also rinse off the sea salt. This avoids skin irritation and sunburn; Ideally, after each swim in the sea, rinse off the salt in the shower, dry your body with a towel, and reapply the sunscreen.
If everyone swims, the reservoir is safe
Do not ignore the sign “Swimming is prohibited” next to the reservoir, even if there are many vacationers around. It means that the water from this reservoir, as well as such characteristics as the current, relief and bottom, have been checked – and it is unsafe to swim here. Olga Dekhtyareva draws attention to the fact that in summer ponds, quarries and lakes can be breeding grounds for pathogens of intestinal, eye and ear infections, as well as parasites and the hepatitis A virus. … Water pollution with mineral fertilizers and their decay products can provoke allergies, and poison that has entered the body can cause skin problems and diseases of internal organs.
“Blooming” water with an unpleasant odor is another reason to abandon the idea of going into the water: such a reservoir is oversaturated with organic waste and nutrients. According to Timur Pesterev, an expert at the Central Research Institute of Epidemiology of Rospotrebnadzor, fresh water bodies in hot weather become an ideal breeding ground for many bacteria, and in stagnant water where ducks live, it is easy to pick up the so-called bather’s itch. In fact, this is a severe dermatitis caused by the larvae of parasites that live in the circulatory system of waterfowl: when they get on human skin, they provoke severe itching, rashes, and an increase in body temperature.
To protect yourself from possible health problems, you need to swim only in reservoirs checked by Rospotrebnadzor (if we are talking about Russia) and try not to swallow water. If you are planning a trip to hot countries, it is worth collecting information in advance about the infections that you may encounter there. The best prevention method for some of these is vaccination. In addition, in southern countries, infections are often found that are not familiar to the inhabitants of the middle lane, which means that one should not rely heavily on strong immunity.