Can Swimming Pool Water make you Sick?

Swimming is a sport that many people love and practice frequently. It’s a way to bring people together, relax and have fun. However, swimming can make you sick if the water is dirty or infected with bacteria.

swimming pool makes you sick

What are the risks of swimming in dirty water?

The main risk is that you will become ill because of swallowing water while swimming. This means that it’s important to ensure that pool water is clean and safe before practising this sport at the public pool or when visiting friends by their places.

There are two of the main types of bacteria that can be found in swimming pools are Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Plesiomonas shigelloides. They are mostly harmless but can cause diarrhoea, ear infections, bladder infections, or septicemia. When people swallow pool water contaminated by these germs, they can become sick. Other types of bacteria that can make humans ill are Staphylococcus aureus and Klebsiella pneumoniae. They do not usually cause serious diseases but can still cause diarrhoea, vomiting, nausea, or fever. The latter bacterium is responsible for outbreaks in the swimming pool.

Too much chlorine can lead to health risks for swimmers as it can cause respiratory problems or even long-term lung damage. In fact, according to a report by the CDC (Centre for Disease Control), around 3-5% of those who swim develop Recreational Water Illnesses every year as a result, and different ways to protect themselves from getting sick. The swimming pool is a place where the water gets contaminated now and then, leading to problems such as swimmers’ ears, respiratory distress, and more complicated issues like infections.

The presence of chlorine in swimming pools helps stop these problems from occurring within the pool. But what happens when there is too much chlorine present in the pool? Well, swimming becomes a threat to your health.

Symptoms of being sick from swimming in Dirty Water:

Since the water is full of chemicals as part of cleaning it up, there can be certain respiratory issues that result from taking a swim in such water. For example, people have reported suffering from coughing and burning sensations while breathing after getting out of a pool filled with chemical/chlorine-rich water. An excessive amount of chlorine can also lead to infection problems within the ears since it isn’t good for humans either. Some other signs include inflammation around the eyes and nose or sneezing fits after having taken a refreshing dip in this type of pool.

The presence of these chemicals in the pool water means that it’s important to know the right way to swim. If you have a scratch or cut on your skin, then going into these public pools is not recommended as this can lead to infection problems. It can also create issues with breathing and trigger asthma attacks for those who are already suffering from it.

Swimming in dirty water has been linked with diarrhoea, vomiting, or fever due to swallowing germs during swimming time at polluted recreational areas such as beaches.

Precautions to take while Swimming in a Pool:

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To prevent being sick after a swim, there are several ways that you can protect yourself from possible respiratory issues, ear infections, and other infections caused by bacteria present in the water. For example, simply taking a shower before swimming can help reduce the number of bacteria that can enter your system from the pool. Also, wearing a swim cap is very popular these days. Wearing it will keep hair tresses out of your face and reduce the risk of infection once you’re back home, especially after taking a dip in an indoor or chlorinated pool.

The chlorine present in pools today kills most germs but not all of them which is why this step becomes important for everyone who takes part in swimming activities.   

There are many other ways to prevent yourself from becoming sick after swimming, like not staying in the water for too long or not swimming in an outdoor pool during winter times. While most infections won’t be serious ones, they can still cause problems like vomiting and nausea which aren’t fun to deal with after having a swim.

To avoid getting sick by swimming is simple: always shower before diving in the pool to remove any extra germs that may have crept onto your body; don’t stay too far away from the side of the pool when you’re swimming since this increases the risk of swallowing water; not wearing goggles can help prevent ear infections (and is actually helpful for people who wear glasses); never swim alone if possible so you have someone there to help you in case something happens while swimming.

Just taking these precautions can help you avoid getting sick after swimming.

  • Finally, remember that if you’re suffering from any irritation or discomfort then it’s best to head out of the pool and go home immediately. Since people use pools on a daily basis in community areas, sometimes there can be germs present in water which can cause infections when they get inside your system—these are mostly respiratory infections but ear and eye infections are also possible due to inhalation of chemicals/water while swimming.   
  • If you’ve had too much chlorine exposure, don’t forget to drink some extra glasses of water afterward since this will help get rid of the chemicals within your body quickly; otherwise, there could be serious problems like stomach issues (especially for small children).
  • Even if the water is fresh and clean, it’s still best to go home and rest after swimming as you can become dehydrated very quickly (even with normal swimming activities) especially if you’re not used to spending too much time in a pool.
  • People who suffer from respiratory problems like asthma should avoid swimming altogether since they’ll be extra prone to certain infections which can trigger an attack. For those who have weak immune systems, it’s best to stay away from swimming in unsupervised areas since this is one of the most effective ways to get sick after a swim.
  • To avoid getting sick while swimming, make sure you take a shower before entering a pool; always wear goggles or glasses when swimming (even if they don’t look good) to reduce irritation and protect your eyes; never swim alone if possible and don’t stay in the water for too long. Also, remember to drink a lot of extra glasses of water after swimming since this will help get rid of any chemicals or germs present in your system.


Don’t let this article discourage you from swimming, if the pools are cleaned often and are used for the recommended time, you have nothing to worry about! Check out more of our blogs related to swimming. Happy swimming!

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