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Don’t Open Your Mouth When You Take a Nice Dip in the Pool This Summer

As the weather heats up, we find ourselves spending more time outdoors, and a dip in the swimming pool is a wonderful way to cool down and relax. Well, just as long as you don’t open your mouth and swallow the water!

It’s no secret that swimming pools are not always the most hygienic places, and are often filled with chlorine, which is used to disinfect the water. Although Healthline notes that most incidents involving chlorine poisoning actually occur from ingesting household cleaners, it can also happen from pool water. Still, this is probably the least of your worries, as WebMD points out that the real concern is the germs that chlorine is not able to kill. Research conducted on recreational pools has found that there have been thousands of cases of recreational water illnesses (RWIs), the most common being diarrhea—this happens after swimmers accidentally drink the water of an infected pool.

Cryptosporidium or "Crypto" is a parasite that often causes a problem in swimming pools and water parks, and according to a 2017 press release by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the number of outbreaks linked to swimming has doubled since 2014.

Now, here’s the really gross part: According to WebMD, the average individual has around “0.14 grams of feces on their bottoms which, when rinsed off, can contaminate recreational water.” The publication points out that there is a reason why water parks are sometimes nicknamed "diarrhea farms." Wait, that’s not all, according to Popular Science, “17 percent of people say they've peed in a public pool before…” and in addition to urine and feces, you can also expect a number of other contaminants, such as blood.

Young children appear to be particularly at risk because they are more likely to swallow pool water. Parents also need to be careful not to let their children swallow too much pool water because, in addition to the aforementioned risks, Health Day notes that children can “inhale water into their lungs” which could cause secondary drowning.

Alright, now that we have successfully ruined your summer, we’ll leave you to ponder on this information!

[Image via Shutterstock]

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