Fun Fact: History shows that public baths were a huge hit amongst Romans from all walks of life. Aside from bathing, these elaborately designed bathhouses were also the location for trading, drinking, eating, scheming, and whatever else Romans feel like doing.
Compared to other forms of water-based activities, swimming and bathing in public pools and spas may appear to be the safest. After all, millions of people all over the world engage in more dangerous types of water-based activities like freediving and whitewater kayaking to name a few. However, recreational bathing in public pools and spas do have their own risks. So before you grab your bathing suit and goggles, give our list of facts about pools, spas, swimming, and safety a quick read. You may be surprised at what you find out. Oh, and we also threw in some tidbits of information that you may find interesting. Enjoy!
Recreational Bathing Isn’t Always Healthy
Bathing is supposed to help us keep our bodies clean and healthy. However, there were a lot of reported cases of people who found themselves becoming ill after a day at the public pool or spa. The reason? Well, research has shown that several communicable diseases can be acquired from these public bathing locations. This is true even if the pool or spa has been adequately chlorinated and sanitized. Take the case of cryptosporidium or “crypto” bacteria which can survive for days in a properly disinfected pool.
Microscopic parasites know as cryptosporidium or crypto were found in many hotel pools and hot tubs. Swimmers and bathers who swallow the pool water infected by this notorious bacteria experience cramps, nausea, vomiting, fever, and dehydration. Suffice to say that this bacteria can easily turn what’s supposed to be a fun day at the pool into a very unpleasant experience.
Fun Fact: The Lexis Hibiscus Port Dickson in Malaysia is known to have the most number of swimming pools in a resort. Each villa in the resort has its own private swimming pool. Accordingly, there are 643 swimming pools (only pools that exceed 1.5 m x 2 m in measurement were considered) in the resort, so you won’t have to worry about sharing with anyone.
Hot Tubs Aren’t Always “Hot”
Hot tubs and spas are patronized all over the world for their soothing and rejuvenating effects. Aside from that though, these are also known to harbor quite a few germs and bacteria that can cause several health hazards like “hot tub rash” and respiratory illnesses. These are the same germs and bacteria that are often found in public swimming pools, as well as natural bodies of water like rivers, lakes, and oceans.
But wait, isn’t the hot water in the tub supposed to kill these germs and bacteria? Well, it’s supposed to. However, the high water temperatures also make it difficult to maintain the required disinfectant levels necessary to kill these germs and bacteria.
Fun Fact: The largest spa resort is the Mission Hills Haikou found in Haikou, Hainan, China. The spa resort has a total area of 176,284.14 square meters and includes 90 treatment facilities and several beauty and wellness facilities, in addition to shops, cafes, and restaurants. Features of the spa resort include 168 hot and cold springs, two man-made volcanoes, a swimming pool, and a man-made beach.
Careful in the Diving Board
Jumping from a diving board (or from the edge of the pool even) can be fun. But if you want to make it more exciting, then trick dives are definitely a must-try. However, just be careful when you try this because about 17% of all diving accidents are incurred by brave swimmers attempting unusual dive tricks. As such, it may be better to leave these feats of awesomeness to the pros, especially when you’re swimming in shallow pools.
Along that line, almost 58% of all pool diving accidents occur in water 4 feet deep or less which is the standard above-ground pool depth, while only 4.8% of swimming pool diving accidents occur in water at least 8 feet deep. Also, over 50% of diving accidents involve the use of alcohol (the consumption of which is one reason why many divers attempt these trick dives in the first place.)
Fun Fact: The deepest swimming pool for diving is the Y-40 in Italy with a depth of 42 meters at its deepest point. Measuring 21 meters long and 18 meters wide the Y-40 contains around 4.3 million liters of thermal water. The pool is used for dive training, leisure diving, and scientific research. It features various intermediate depths, four caves for underwater diving, and a 13 meters transparent tunnel.
Keep an Eye on the Kids
This should go without saying, but you should always keep an eye out for your kids whenever you’re in public pools, spas, or other bodies of water. Unfortunately, many people seem to underestimate the importance of this rule, especially when you consider that drowning is the second most common cause of accident-related deaths in children ages 14 and under. Worst is that about 19% of drowning deaths involving children occur in public pools with certified lifeguards present. Even sadder is that of children ages 4 and under who drown, 70% are in the care of one or both parents at the time of the drowning.
Fun Fact: The largest swimming pool in the world is the seawater Orthlieb Pool in Casablanca, Morocco. It is 480 meters long and 75 meters wide and has an area of 3.6 hectares.
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Recreational bathing in pools and spas can be fun, but they are not without risks. However, don’t let these stop you from enjoying a day in the water. By being proactive and engaging in healthy swimming practices and becoming aware of the different facts about pools, spas, swimming, and safety that we mentioned above, you’ll be able to end the day happy and relaxed, and more importantly, safe and healthy.
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