Entries in Pool (3)


Taking a Dip? Think Again: One in Five Admit to Peeing in Pools

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- You may want to think twice before taking a dive into a backyard or community pool.  A new survey finds 20 percent of respondents admitting to peeing in a pool.

Dr. Chris Wiant, the chairman of the Water Quality & Health Council, says, “No matter how easy it is to pee anonymously in the pool, swimmers should avoid doing so.”

Dr. Wiant also advises parents to take their children on frequent bathroom breaks.

But urine isn’t the only contaminant affecting the water quality of a pool.  The WQHC survey finds that while virtually all Americans, 93 percent, say they would never re-use someone else’s bath water, 68 percent admit they do not shower before going in a pool.

“Swimming is not a substitute for bathing.  Too many people unknowingly treat the pool as a communal bathtub,” says Dr. Wiant. 

Health experts say a pre-swim shower removes sweat and cosmetics that can mix with chlorine to create irritants in the water that lead to problems for swimmers.

The Water Quality & Health Council survey involved 1,000 U.S. adults.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Picnics, Pools, Public Bathrooms: Summer's Germy Hotspots

Christopher Robbins/Digital Vision/ Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The germs of summer are out in full force, hiding in picnic food, pools, and public bathrooms.

Bacteria thrive in the season's swelter, and the infections they spark can cast a dark shadow on a sunny day.  But a little caution can help keep summer safe and sanitary.

Don't Spoil Your Dinner

Cooking and eating outside can be fun, but bacteria can flourish in food that's undercooked and flock to fare that has been sitting out in the sun, so be prepared to cook meat thoroughly and keep creamy sides cool.

Heat Things Up

To kill food-borne bacteria such as E. coli and salmonella, the U.S. Department of Agriculture recommends cooking cuts of meat to an internal temperature of 145 degrees and waiting at least three minutes before digging in.  Ground meat should reach 160 degrees, and poultry 165 degrees.  Keep meat hot until it's time to eat, and don't let it sit out for more than two hours; one hour if it's hotter than 90 degrees out.

Keep It Cool

Summer staples like potato salad and coleslaw can turn a picnic sour if they get too warm.  Use ice or frozen gel packs to keep cold food below 40 degrees until it's time to eat.  And once it's served, don't let it sit out for more than two hours; one hour if it's hotter than 90 degrees out.

Keep Cuts Under Wraps

Summer is bound to bring scrapes.  Clean out a cut with clean water and quickly cover it with a bandage, said Dr. William Schaffner, chair of preventive medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee.  If the bandage gets wet, take it off and dry the skin before replacing it with a fresh one.  And check to see whether the skin around the scrape is red or puffy, signs that it might be infected.

"If an infection does occur, that's a time to call your doctor because it could be a staph infection," Schaffner said, "and you'll want to get that treated right away."

Throw in the Towel

Bacteria love dark, damp places, rolled up beach towels included.

"There have been outbreaks of MRSA infections associated with, how shall we say, 'casual hygienic practices,'" Schaffner said.

Between dips, hang towels and swim trunks up so they can dry thoroughly.  And don't forget to launder them. Getting wet is not the same as getting washed.

Be Prepared for Public Bathrooms

Busy parks and beaches mean heavy traffic through public bathrooms.  Be prepared for an empty toilet paper roll or a dearth of paper towels, Schaffner said, and bring along hand sanitizer and some tissue.

Take Care of Bites, Burns

Whether it's a mosquito bite or blistering sunburn, itchy skin is bacteria's ticket from fingernails into fragile skin.  Avoid the urge to scratch though, Schaffner said, which can cause a break in the skin.

Other Summer Safety Tips

Stay protected from the sun and the heat by wearing sunscreen and staying hydrated.  And be careful around water: about 10 people die each day from unintentional drowning, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, making it the sixth leading cause of unintentional injury or death.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


'Swimmer's Ear' Proves to Be Costly, Report Finds

Comstock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- As summer approaches and more people spend time swimming in bodies of water, the prevalence of "swimmer's ear," an inflammation of the external ear canal, grows.  And although it's common, a new report shows that the minor ailment can be costly.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that each year there are 2.4 million doctor visits in connection to "swimmer's ear."  Futhermore, the condition is responsible for close to $500 million in health care costs annually.

The latest report also calls into question the cleanliness of public pools.  Keeping a pool's pH and chlorine level at its proper measurement reduces the chances of getting "swimmer's ear," according to the CDC.

"We're calling on swimmers to take an active role in keeping pools healthy.  We want them to 'dip before they dive,' that is, before getting in the pool, swimmers should dip a color-coded test strip into the water to check the pool chemistry.  When Americans head to the pool this summer, they can make packing a pool test strip with them as routine as packing a towel and sunscreen," said Chris Wiant, chair of the Water Quality & Health Council.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio