BANGALORE: Bangalore’s favourite trick to beat the heat each Summer is by enrolling in the numerous swimming camps. Accompanying children, many adults too take to the ‘healthy’ habit at the start of April each year.
City Express takes you through some health alerts that doctors suggest to help every swimmer stay away health issues.
Almost 15,000 children and over 10,000 adults enroll in swimming camps in their respective areas. But health risks are ample, and these are not visible to the naked eye.
Global health organisations have revealed some major health risks that could come up while taking the plunge into public pools and physicians across the city too have sounded alarm bells.
“There are a whole host of waterborne diseases and infections that could come up while swimming in chemical water. Eye infections, cold, cough, skin allergies, vomiting and diarrhea are the most common problems that people face,” said Dr Jayanti Sridhar, a physician from Jayanagar.
All swimming pools are expected to conduct disinfection of water through chlorination. While the dangers of chlorine have been proved, no other alternative sanitiser that is as effective has been found. “Chlorine combines with body proteins like sweat and urine and forms Chloramines. These Chloramines cause eye irritation and serious breathing problems. Some studies have confirmed that swimming regularly in chlorinated water increases the chances of developing asthma,” said Kiran Hirani, a physician who has studied water-borne illnesses.
As per the pool authorities in the city, around 90 per cent of the pools use water disinfection machines. On being questioned, pool authorities at Jayanagar and Sadashiv Nagar said that disinfection of water is done for 10 hours per day.
“Changing water in pools is quite an expensive job. We filter water continuously for 20 hours a day,” said Satish Kumar, MD, Swim Life.
Is the pool clean?
* If smell of Chlorine is pungent, then either the pool has bad ventilation system or has high level of Chloramines * A pool should have high ceilings and lots of space around * If the water is clear and blue, it is free from algae and unclouded.
Sticky and slippery tiles are caused by algae and other organisms.
* Painted stripes and drainage grills should be visible from the top * Pick a handful of water, if it fl ows out smoothly, it is clean.
If it feels sticky, it is not disinfected
Tips to stay safe in public pools
* Shower before you enter the pool * Shower and wash your hair after swimming in public pools * Avoid hot showers as hot water opens the pores of your skin and allows easy absorption of chemicals * Don’t swim with a bad stomach, diarrhea or any gastrointestinal infection