C’mon in, the water’s fine! There’s only a wee bit of urine in it!
For adults and children alike, swimming can be one of the best parts of summer. But taking the time to stop and think about what’s lurking in that public pool or water park might lead you to some gross realizations…
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According to this mother, however, a little pee should be no big deal! After her three-year-old son, who’s still potty training, was informed he wouldn’t be allowed to swim in his aunt’s pool, family drama ensued. Below, you’ll find the full story that was recently shared on the “Am I the [Jerk]?” subreddit, as well as some responses invested readers left.
According to this mother, a little pee in a swimming pool never hurt anyone
Image credits: Alexandr Podvalny (not the actual photo)
So after her three-year-old son was informed that he couldn’t swim in his aunt’s pool, family drama ensued
Image credits: Lee Myungseong (not the actual photo)
Image source: Weird-Outside-577
Unfortunately, it’s incredibly common for swimmers to urinate in pools
If you’re anything like me, pandas, you wait all year until swimming pools are finally warm enough to enjoy, and once you’re in one, there’s no coming out any time soon! Swimming is relaxing, makes for a great workout and is fun for people of all ages. But when it comes to public pools, it is an unfortunate fact that there’s always urine lurking in the water. Despite how often we try to pretend it’s not happening, studies have found that up to 40% of swimmers will admit to having peed in a pool. In fact, one study even found that one 220,000-gallon, commercial-sized swimming pool contains nearly 20 gallons of urine. Does that make you think twice about jumping into your neighborhood’s pool?
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According to the CDC, the average pool goer brings about a cup of urine into the water with them. And while there are chemicals, such as chlorine, in the pool to decontaminate the water, the CDC says that those are necessary for cleaning all of the inevitable dirt, sweat, gunk, etc. that we have on our bodies, so we shouldn’t rely on them to clean up urine as well. In fact, experts say that once someone has peed in your pool, the only surefire way of getting rid of it is by changing the water, which many pool owners go years without doing. And if that chemical smell that you notice when entering a pool gives you some peace of mind, it probably shouldn’t. The Cleveland Clinic explains that a clean pool actually shouldn’t give off much odor, and when we do notice the smell of chemicals, it’s because they’re working hard to attempt to eliminate chloramines, urine and other byproducts.
But that doesn’t make it any less disgusting or dangerous
Aside from simply being disgusting, urinating in pools can actually be dangerous as well. “When urine combines with chlorine, it forms chemical compounds that can be harmful to your eyes, skin and respiratory system,” urologist Neel Parekh, MD, told the Cleveland Clinic. The more we pee in pools, the more chloramines there will be present, which can have dangerous effects on our health and may even impact our ability to breathe the air around a pool. “Let’s avoid turning our pools into a biochemistry experiment gone wrong by using the designated restroom facilities, practicing good hygiene and not urinating in pools,” Dr. Parekh says.
So if your little ones aren’t fully potty trained but will still be planning on taking a dip this summer, it’s important to minimize their risk of relieving themselves in the pool. As the mother mentioned in this post, swim diapers are not meant to hold urine, so parents should not expect a swim diaper to keep a pool hygienic. They will keep a baby’s solid waste in until they have time to exit the pool and get changed, but they are not intended to hold any waste for very long so parents must keep a close eye when swimming with their little ones.
It’s important to take precautions, especially with small children, to keep swimming pools as hygienic as possible
Swim diapers are a must for any children who aren’t completely potty trained, but they’re not a bad idea for all kids who might have an accident in water, even if they wouldn’t have one in normal life. Being submerged in water makes many people feel the urge to urinate, even if they just did before getting in, so it may be challenging for young children to be able to control their bladders. According to US Masters Swimming, the temperature and pressure of water in a pool might make you more inclined to need a bathroom break.
The cold water in a pool can raise your blood pressure, signal your kidneys that your body’s fluid balance is “out of whack,” and increase your urge to pee. Our kidneys have a similar reaction when we’re submerged under water and the hydrostatic pressure increases our blood pressure yet again. So when it comes to preventing accidents with our kids in the pool, it’s better to take every precaution and be safe, rather than sorry.
We would love to hear your thoughts on this story in the comments below, pandas. Do you think this mother was right to get upset with her sister, or would you have let her toddler swim in the pool? Feel free to share, and then if you’re interested in reading another Bored Panda article discussing swimming pool drama, look no further than right here!
Some readers were quick to inform the mother that she was in the wrong
While others thought all parties could have handled the situation better
Some assured the mom that she was right to stand up for her son
And others decided that no one was at fault