Nike Air Max 95 Dynamic Flywire

"Everyone who enters a pool should take a shower with soap and water. That will remove any sweat, any contaminants on the body before you enter the pool water. When you're clean and you go into the pool, it doesn't use up the chlorine, so it protects where it needs to protect."

In Toronto, there's quite a bit of this sort of maintenance to be done. The city operates 63 indoor pools that draw 2.5 million visits per year, and 59 outdoor pools that bring in 1.3 million visits in the Nike Air Max Accelerate 2

Most of the risks and outbreaks she's seen recently come from parks with wading pools that incorporate spraying water. These can act as breeding grounds for bacteria due to the high volume of children in diapers.

but swimmers should beware of infections

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"It's about reading the rules and understanding that the reason public health people have rules about diapered children and illness and other things is that those rules are important to protect everybody who is using the pools," said McGeer.

Nike Air Max 95 Dynamic Flywire

Nike Air Max 95 Dynamic Flywire

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is simply wear flip flops and make sure feet are thoroughly dried after getting out of the pool.

Dr. Allison McGeer is the director of infection control at Toronto's Mount Sinai hospital. A 23 year veteran of her field, she says that although it is possible to pick up infections at public pools, they're mostly safe places to go and have fun.

While many Canadians have turned to public pools this summer seeking relief from sweltering temperatures, experts say steps can be taken to prevent pool related maladies like athlete's foot and plantar warts, as well as gastrointestinal infections that spread through exposure to bacteria.

In order to avoid plantar warts and athlete's foot, McGeer says the Air Max Sequent All Black

summer months alone.

Both cryptosporidium and pseudomonas are resistant to chlorine.

Nike Air Max 95 Dynamic Flywire

Nike Air Max 95 Dynamic Flywire

Basic washing before getting in the pool is important, too.

An accident, after all, would likely cause the pool to be evacuated while maintenance workers deal with the problem by checking filters and adding chlorine. On a hot day, that's not a desirable outcome.

Responsibility for disease prevention, they say, lies both with those who maintain pools as well as with swimmers themselves.

Shelley Beaudet, a senior environmental health officer with Vancouver Coastal Health, says two of the biggest pool related ailments are infection by cryptosporidium and pseudomonas. Cryptosporidium is spread when those with gastrointestinal problems like diarrhea use a pool. Pseudomonas, meanwhile, is a germ commonly found in water or soil, and can cause a rash for those who swim in infected water.

A number of itchy bumps had broken out on her armpit. A doctor eventually told her it was molluscum contagiosum, an infection picked up from skin to skin contact with an infected person or infected surfaces. She's convinced she caught it from her time in public pools.

"If you have a cut or any kind of infection, don't go in the pool so you don't spread infections."

Nike Air Max 95 Dynamic Flywire

Nike Air Max 95 Dynamic Flywire

"Probably the biggest risk is athlete's foot from the showers. Generally speaking, public pools are sufficiently carefully maintained, that your chances Nike Air Max 95 Dynamic Flywire of getting an infection in a public pool are slim to none," she said.

Nike Air Max 95 Dynamic Flywire

Those using hot tubs should keep their eyes peeled for greasy looking bubbles on top of the water, a sure sign of unsanitary conditions.

The key to avoiding those infections, Patel says, is personal hygiene.

Nike Air Max 95 Dynamic Flywire

"I was at the pool all the time. And now, when I look at how you catch it, it's dirty towels or damp towels, which are things you would have around the pool."

"We have rules that say if you have diarrhea or your kid has diarrhea, you don't bring them into the pool. Generally, Canadians are good people and careful about that, and they don't break public health rules that are there for good reason."

"Scrub the edges of the pool, anywhere there's a greasy, slimy layer," said Beaudet. "Keep chlorine levels accurate and up to standards, and be careful about how you're adding water."

Nike Air Max 95 Dynamic Flywire

Mahesh Patel is a manager with the healthy environments sector of Toronto Public Health. He says that while Toronto's public pools are well maintained, it is possible to pick up an infection in any body of water.

She says it's important to add fresh water often, and to avoid leaving the end of a hose on the ground where it can attract bacteria.

Beaudet says those with gastrointestinal problems should simply stay out of the pool. And pseudomonas can best be avoided by making sure the area surrounding the pool is kept sanitized.

Children in diapers, she said, should avoid public swimming pools.

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