Chlorine is nasty stuff, so what measures can you take to help protect you and your family?
There are various reports detailing the risks that come with traditional swimming pool disinfection. You can protect you and your family from the risks associated with chlorine by following these handy tips:
Shower before and after swimming
We have all done it, run through the showers as quick as we can, instead of standing in them. Indeed some of us have probably skipped the shower all together at some point in our lives.
You will change your mind when you realise that showering before entering a pool rinses away impurities from the body and reduces the risk of waterborne illnesses such as; diarrhoea, swimmer's ear and skin infections. There are also the little particles of urine and feaces that remain on your body after visiting the toilet. If you decide not to shower before you enter the pool, you are leaving these little particles in pool for others to swallow!
After swimming, a shower will wash away the majority of chlorine on your body. However it will not protect you from chlorine completely. Even using soap after swimming will not remove the film of chlorine left on the skin and hair
Vitamin C neutralises the film of chlorine left on the skin and in hair. There are several 'swim spray' products on the market that are designed for use after swimming. But if you fancy it, you can make your own:
Homemade Vitamin C Spray
- 1 cup distilled water (how to distil water)
- 5 grams (1 tsp) powdered Sodium Ascorbate (this can be bought in health food shops and online)
- Essential oils (optional)
- A quality plastic bottle
Using a funnel, add distilled water to a glass bottle or stable plastic spray bottle.
Add the ascorbic acid
After swimming, spray the solution all over, including on hair.
Rub the solution in, making sure to cover all of your skin. If the Vitamin C doesn't cover your skin, it won't protect it.
Shower as usual.
You should notice that your hair and skin smell much better after using this spray than if you only showered using shampoo and soap.
Outdoor swimming pools
If you have access to an outdoor pool choose to swim there. Toxic gases (byproducts) are released in a swimming pool. This is caused by the chemical reaction between ammonia and chlorine. These gases can damage the lining of the lungs, which can lead to respiratory problems. Choosing to swim in an outdoor pool means that these gases dissipate into the air outside, minimising the risk.
Oceans and lakes (or lochs here in Scotland)
If you are fortunate enough to live close to the ocean or a lake, choose to swim here. Fresh water and fresh air poses no threat to your health. However before you go diving in, there are a few things you need to do:
- Make sure you have authority to swim, you don't want to inadvertently, float off into a shipping lane!
- Be properly equipped. The outside temperate and water temperature vary hugely so a wet suit is advisable for the colder climates. Take dry warm clothes and a hot water bottle with you, this will help warm you back up when you are finished.
- Do not go alone. It is always sensible to have someone with you should you get into trouble. Even the strongest swimmer can get cramp!
Yes, after swimming indoors, be conscious of the fresh air around you when you leave to go outside. Take nice long, deep breaths to fill your lungs and expel the gases that may have been inhaled.
Do you have any other tips?
We would love to hear from you