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Pool Time: How to Protect Yourself from Infection During the Summer

Showering before entering a pool

We all know how easy it is to get sick from pool water, not to mention cross-contamination from various forms of bacteria. However, did you know that Human Papillomavirus – otherwise known as HPV — can fester in wet, warm places such as your favourite swimming spot? Whether in the backyard, at a local rec centre or along the coast in the tropics, it’s easier to develop an infection than many of us realize. Here are some helpful tips to keep you safe, healthy and happy this summer!

Sandals, Sandals, Sandals!

Even if it appears to be recently cleaned, the walking area surrounding a pool can harbour all sorts of bacteria, including strains of the HPV virus. It’s just begging to find something to cling to, like wandering bare feet. That’s why we recommend sandals that are breathable, comfortable and snug on the feet – you don’t want them flying off or being painful to wear! Kids should especially wear sandals right up until they take a dip, as their immune systems are still developing and will be more susceptible to HPV infections.

Clean Water or No Water

Having your own pool can also mean having greater confidence in the quality of the water, so long as you take good care of it and perform regular, thorough cleanings. Plus, you can actively monitor the PH level, which influences bacteria growth if not controlled with water treatments. If you discover gunk or unsanitary conditions, treat it appropriately or, in seriously dire cases, give it a drain and a thorough scrubbing down! Don’t put yourself or loved ones at risk by shrugging off grimy pool conditions and diving in.

Shower Before and After – Including the Feet!

Before and after you go for a dip, be sure to get clean with a shower either at the facility you’re visiting or at home. Don’t forget to scrub those feet, as they can easily carry clingy bacteria and fungal spores that cause athlete’s foot and HPV, the latter of which creates plantar warts. If you want to make sure your feet don’t pick something nasty up on that tiled floor of your local swimming pool’s shower area, sandals will come in handy!

All in all, the more you cover up, stay clean and be proactive, the less risk there is of getting infected while visiting the pool. Whether you’re planning on relaxing at home or at a public facility, resort or otherwise, having pool smarts means having more fun and enjoyable experience!

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