A Message from the New Jersey Poison Information & Education System
Opening home swimming pools is often an exciting event as residents are anxious to kick off their shoes and jump into their summer tradition of cooling off in their backyard pools. Although poolside activities are a summer staple, they can come at a cost if you are not aware of potential dangers by the pool.
Before pool or hot tub water is safe to enjoy, it must be treated with chemicals to prevent algae, bacteria, viruses, parasites and other germs from contaminating the water. If the water is untreated, swimmers and hot tub users are at high risk for infections, illnesses and skin irritation also known as recreational water illnesses (RWIs). Such waterborne illnesses (swimmer’s ear, hot tub rash, respiratory infection, urinary tract infections, and diarrhea) are easily spread by swallowing, breathing in, or having contact with contaminated water. Exposure to these germs can result in serious illnesses, therefore if you are feeling sick it’s important to stay out of swimming areas and hot tubs.