Peeing In The Pool Is Not Cute, It’s A Public Health Threat

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shutterstock_199271966I have to admit that I have peed in the pool with the best of them. But now that I have kids, toddlers who are still in diapers, I have a new dilemma.

Not only do I have to teach them water safety and respect for lifeguards, but I have to somehow convince them not to pee in the pool. Peeing in the pool is not only nasty, it is a public health concern.

According to Time, the average swimmer leaves behind 30 to 80 mL of urine when they go swimming. I’ll just let that sink in for a minute… Time also points out:

A recent study published in the American Chemical Society journal Environmental Science & Technology shows that mixing chlorine and uric acid — the latter of which is “almost entirely attributable to human urine” — can result in “volatile disinfection by-products.”

Those by-products include trichloramine, which can affect the respiratory system and lead to irritation of the skin and eyes, as well as cyanogen chloride, which has been used in the past as a chemical-warfare agent.

Before you panic and blame other kids for engaging in chemical warfare on your innocent children, just know that chlorine and urine levels in a typical pool are not high enough to produce that type of reaction. Nonetheless, we can’t ignore science on this one. Even low levels of these byproducts can enter the body to cause irritation and contamination.

Your kids can get sick from breathing in this dangerous combination. Unfortunately, this busts my husband’s favorite myth that chlorine in pools “kills everything.” Also, I’m well aware that swim diapers are barely absorbent pieces of crap, and I am definitely contributing to this problem in the present moment.

Peeing in the pool isn’t cute, it’s dangerous to your health. We know all kids do it, but based on this scientific evidence, it’s time to open the dialogue and take this minor offense more seriously. Peeing in the pool is gross, so tell your little swimmers to stop it right now.

(Image: Olesia Bilkei/Shutterstock)