If you have a sparkling clear pool in your backyard in Phoenix, you might think that its pristine condition can’t possibly make anyone sick. However, it’s a whole different story if you accidentally ingest water from your pool. Chances are, little kids who come to visit are already doing it – children can have a harder time adjusting to water and swimming, resulting in a few gulps of water in the process. While it’s not largely dangerous at first, an ample amount of pool water can cause a wide range of health complications in both adults and kids.

Why is pool water hazardous?
Familiarizing yourself with the dangers of ingesting pool water on a regular basis might just help you be more mindful of it when you take a dip. Time magazine reported that bacteria ranging from E. coli to giardia can be lurking in pools, waiting to infect people who go for a swim.

“You should always be able to see the bottom of the pool clearly,” Thomas Lachocki, the CEO of the National Swimming Pool Foundation, told the news source. “Usually if the water is cloudy, something with the filter or chemicals isn’t right. Clear water doesn’t mean everything is alright, but cloudy water is an absolute positive sign that something is not right.”

USA Today went on to report that many of the bacteria problems in pools are due to the fact that people don’t shower prior to going into a pool. As a result, any fecal matter and bodily fluids are still on their bodies when they enter the water.

Can you prevent pool water-related illnesses?
As scary as some of this bacteria might sound, it’s not a completely hopeless situation for pool owners. Bringing in a Phoenix pool service professional can help you ensure that the chemicals in your pool are always in check. This is a big step toward preventing illnesses, as the proper chemicals and balance can eliminate potentially harmful bacteria. Lachocki went on to tell Time magazine that you can even do some of your own maintenance at home by using store-bought items such as pH strips in between visits from the professionals.

When it comes to children, little ones should be taught to avoid drinking pool water at all costs. Accidental gulps are bound to happen, but parents and guardians should ideally teach their kids to spit out any water that enters their mouths, according to the Mayo Clinic.