Does jumping in a pool count as a shower?

Published: Jul. 17, 2019 at 8:26 AM EDT
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A debate has many of you talking on social media -- does jumping in a pool count as a shower? Our Connor Cyrus spoke with health officials and about pool hygiene.

Vermont Health Department officials say jumping in the pool does not count as a shower. They say you should be showering before jumping in any pool and that it's a good idea to shower after.

"It's always a good idea to shower before, to wash that dirt, sweat and any residual fecal matter off of you before you get in the pool," said Bridget O'Brien, a toxicological analyst with the Health Department.

She says when you're swimming in a pool, you're sharing the water with everyone. Even though people make the argument that a pool has chlorine that kills all the germs, O'Brien says that's not exactly true.

"If chlorine is used up trying to kill urine or sweat, less of it can be used to kill those more harmful germs," she said.

people we spoke with on Church Street seem to agree a pool does not substitute as a shower.

"It's not proper hygiene. You should not jump into a pool for a shower," said Tyler Sirillo of Burlington.

"All the chemicals and like chlorine in it, that's not to clean you, that's to keep the pool clean," said Madaline Schmidt of Burlington.

"Yeah, that's just gross," said Andy Simmons of Shelburne.

"It kind of compromises how clean the water is, you just don't want to swallow it," said Lorrie Colburn of Burlington.

O'Brien says swallowing the water in a pool increases your chances of getting a recreational form of water illness. The most common symptom is diarrhea. She says it's hard to track water illnesses and the state doesn't hear about them very often.

O'Brien has this advice to help keep public pools clean: "Make sure kids are using the bathroom outside of the pool. Take them for bathroom breaks often, change diapers away from the pool, that kind of thing," she said.

This all might sound like common sense, but what was interesting -- of the people that we spoke with -- they all thought it was more important to shower after swimming.