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Do you know what's crashing your pool party? Germs!

 
Everyone gets sick in the winter, right? Mom warns you to wash your hands constantly, to cough into your elbow, to try not to touch door handles. But what about in the summer? You’re safe then, right? Not so fast, chicas. Info from the Water Quality and Health Council shows that a swimming pool is germs’ new BFF. Tons of nasty things, like E. coli and other parasites, could be lurking beneath that sparkly surface. So how can you enjoy the pool minus those gross germs? Here are a few tips:

 

 

Smelly signals

Don’t go for a dip if the chlorine smells really strong because those chemicals aren’t the only ones to blame for that stink. Chlorine actually only starts smelling when it gets mixed with contaminants, so if you’re holdin’ your nose, ya know there are some germies in there, too. Maybe think about running through the sprinkler in your backyard instead, or try cooling off with a water balloon fight during the afternoon.

 

Shower power

The reason why all those germs are hangin’ out in the pool is that seven in ten Americans aren’t showering before they go for a swim. By the time you jump in, you may as well be taking a bath in water that hundreds of people have already used. That was all right for the ancient Romans, but not so much for us bathing beauties of the 21st century. A quick shower before ya hit the pool only takes a few minutes, and it’ll wash off the germs and dirt that ya prob don’t wanna be sharin’ with your peeps.

 

Bathroom breaks a must

Sorry, gals, but ya just gotta get out of that pool when nature calls. In a survey by the Water Quality and Health Council, one out of five Americans said that they had peed in public pools – and those are just the people who fessed up. Ew. ‘Nough said.

 

Still suspicious?

If ya want some hard, cold facts on your pool’s cleanliness, you can order free test strips to monitor the pH and the amount of chlorine that you’ll be wading through. Just go to healthypools.org. Get the numbers, and then you can make the call about whether or not ya wanna expose your lovely self to those germs.

 

Hey chicas, what’s your pick for a sweet way to cool off without diving into a potentially-germy pool?

 
 

 

BY CARRIE RUPPERT ON 6/9/2012 12:00:00 AM

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Anti-bacterial soap kills way more germs.

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