Common Pool Myths

coronadoovalWhen we were children, we heard some urban legends we believed as extensions of the truth. Things like sewer gators, Bloody Mary, and the monster under the bed were real when we were younger, but as we aged, we matured and realized that for the most part, these were just legends and myths. Much like these myths, pool legends are another section that we endorsed. However, myths about pools are harder to let go. Many individuals still hold on to these myths because they are very believable for the most part. However, many of the myths still believed are just that.

With the summer months coming, we combed some of the common myths that the Baltimore Sun and Water Quality and Health posted that many individuals still believe in and decided to help debunk them to make you feel at ease this summer when you relax by the pool.

Myth: It is the Chlorine in the pool that turns your hair green.

Fact: This myth is associated with swimming, particularly with blondes and bleached hair, for a long time. It is not the chlorine in the water that is the culprit, however. The change in the hair color is from metals that are in the water (like copper) to control algae or coming from some of the plumbing and fixtures. It can be solved, however. So you do not have Oompa Loompa hair when you leave pools, just wear a swim cap. If that does not work, thoroughly wash your hair as soon as you exit the pool with a gentle shampoo.

Myth: Drowning is noisy with lots of splashing and screaming.

Fact: We picture drowning as a lot of thrashing and screaming due to portrayals in movies. A child will rarely scream, splash, or cry out. Even adults will not do so because they are trying to focus on breathing again. It is often silent because of the leading cause, aspiration. Aspiration is the swallowing of liquid that goes into the lungs rather than the stomach. It tends to happen underwater after the swimmer tries to hold their breath but cannot get to the surface fast enough. It is silent, quick, and shocking.

Myth: You must wait 30 minutes after you eat to go swimming.

Fact: The modern myth of parents around the world. Neither The Red Cross nor the American Academy of Pediatrics mentions this requirement. If cramps develop, get out of the water. It is honestly just a way for parents to get a break, and while it can cause cramps, it will not make you drown.

Myth: Chlorine kills everything in the water.

Fact: Chlorine does keep a lot of serious illnesses at bay, but does not take care of a lot of things that may be in the water. Cryptosporidium and other diseases can take up to a week for chlorine to destroy. Don’t swallow the water and work on having a chemical balance in the water for your pool, as it will help your pool stay healthy.

Myth: A heavy chlorine smell indicates that there is too much chlorine in the water.

Fact: There is no strong chlorine smell in a properly disinfected pool. Strong odor usually signals the presence of chloramines in the pool. They form when chlorine disinfectants react with contaminants brought into pools on the bodies of swimmers including perspiration, body oils, and cosmetics. These are the irritants that cause red eyes and itchy skin. The smell could mean that there needs to be more chlorine disinfectant added to destroy the chloramines.