The question often asked is: how long before swimming after being in the shower with your clothes on? The answer is: it depends.
To help answer this question, our colleagues from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have shared some tips on what you should know and do to prepare for swimming after being in the shower.
Dress In Light Colours
It is always recommended to wear white or light-colored clothing while in the water. Dark colors such as red or black can cause you to appear larger than you really are and it is better for your safety as well as that of the fish to appear smaller. Bright colors on the other hand can make you easier to spot by swimmers and other beachgoers.
Shower With Your Hands On Your Head
When taking a shower with your hands on your head, you are more mindful of where you place your hands and how you move them around in the process. This means you may reduce the risk of getting an infection from bacteria such as tetanus, which is often found in unclean water. This type of infection can cause you to lose your toes or hands. Additionally, when taking a shower with your hands on your head, you are less likely to slip and fall while wet, which could lead to serious injury or death.
Taking a shower with your hands on your head also prevents water from running down into your ears and causing ear infections. This is why it is always recommended to take showers with your hands on your head. Finally, the water in your ears may cause you to become deaf if it is not drained regularly. Draining your ears is an easy way to ensure you do not lose your hearing.
Avoid Wet Surfaces
When taking a shower or using the bathroom, it is always recommended that you put some clothes on first. If you are wet from head to toe when you enter the water, it can make you more prone to cold temperature shock. To avoid this, it is advisable to put on some swimming wear before entering the water. Wetting your body down to your lower legs before entering the water can also cause you to become hypothermic. Wear something that can keep your body warm while in the water, such as a hat and gloves. Taking off your clothes and putting on swimwear after being in the shower is also advisable to help prevent potential skin irritation and rash formation from coming from contact with the chlorine in the water.
If you have not been swimming for a while or if this is the first time you have ever entered a pool or a large body of water, practice first to get the feel of it. Slowly work your way up to swimming lengths or doing laps in the water until you feel comfortable. Once you get the feel of swimming, it will be easier to get into your bathing suit and into the water without hesitation. It may also be a good idea to ask a friend to swim with you at first, so you do not have to feel anxious about slipping underwater.
Take In Plenty Of Air
When you are in the water, it is important to take in as much air as possible. Otherwise, you may become more likely to become disoriented or even suffer from mild oxygen deprivation. To accomplish this, simply take a few minutes to pop your ears or put your finger in your ear and wiggle it around. This helps allow more air into your ear and prevents you from drowning. Additionally, the buoyancy of the water will keep you afloat and above water level if you should accidentally fall in. Take in plenty of air and keep your head above water until help arrives.
While these tips are easy to follow, they can help reduce your risk of getting sick if you do not follow them. By wearing light colors and protective clothing, showering with your hands on your head, avoiding wet surfaces and taking in plenty of air, you are more likely to stay healthy while in the water. Of course, if you feel you are not ready to swim yet, please do not hesitate to stay out of the water or go in where you feel comfortable.