Get Pool Ready! The Do's and Don'ts of Swimming and Managing Incontinence
Swimming is an activity enjoyed by people all over the world, especially in hot summer months. Not only is swimming a great way to cool off and a good form of exercise, but it can also be a lot of fun! Unfortunately, not everyone considers swimming an enjoyable activity. For those managing incontinence, the idea of wearing a bathing suit and hopping in the local pool can be stressful.
We want to make swimming a little less intimidating for those dealing with continence issues. We’ve put together a few “Do’s” and “Dont’s” when it comes to swimming and incontinence, and hopefully they encourage you to take a dip in the pool this summer!
DON’T wear regular absorbent incontinence products into a pool.
This may be pretty obvious to some, but it’s important so we’re going to include it in our list.
What happens when you urinate in a diaper or absorbent product? Well, the liquid gets absorbed causing the product to expand. If you get in a pool with a diaper that is not designed for swimming, it will swell up causing the product to leak and possibly fall apart, offering no protection. The key takeaway here is that you should only wear diapers that are designed for swimming into the water.
DO make sure you have a proper fitting swim diaper.
Most municipal pools require those managing incontinence wear a swim diaper (or underwear). Like daily use incontinence products, it is very important that your swim diaper fits you properly. A diaper that is too large will leak, and one that is too small will likely be uncomfortable to wear and irritate your skin.
That being said, swim diapers only offer minimal absorbency as they are not actually intended to absorb urine, they’re meant to contain solid waste (feces). Pools are equipped with Chlorine, which can break down small amounts of urine, so don’t worry about a little leak!
If you’re looking for a good swim diaper, we’d recommend looking at the disposable Tranquility Swimmates Swim Underwear. The SOSecure Reusable Swim Diaper is also a great option. They’re available in a wide selection of sizes, and our customers love them!
DON’T pee in the pool.
While a small bladder leak is no cause for alarm, intentionally peeing in a pool is not okay. While pool chemicals can break down small amounts of urine, large amounts, as a result of fully emptying your bladder, can cause some problems.
When urine mixes with Chlorine, it creates Chloramines. These Chloramines can cause irritation to your skin and eyes. Chloramines also release a gas which can irritate your respiratory tract. Peeing in the pool can have health implications that can affect not only you, but anyone else enjoying the pool. If you have to urinate, please use a toilet.
DO empty your bladder before getting in the pool.
Emptying your bladder before getting in the pool can help to protect you from accidents. As explained above, a small amount of urine in the pool is no reason for distress, but large amounts can be harmful.
If you need to pee while swimming, do your best to make it to the washroom. Be careful not to slip and fall on your way there. If you have a leak on your way to the washroom, don’t worry. Your swim diaper should have enough absorbency to contain a small volume of urine, giving you enough time to make it to the change room or toilet.
A few other things to remember…
Swim diapers can be worn under bathing suits (or on their own if you prefer). If you’re concerned that people will see the diaper under your bathing suit, don’t be too worried. Many swim diapers offer a discreet solution, as they’re designed to be worn under a bathing suit.
Shower with soap and water before and after you spend time in a pool. People normally do have trace amounts of urine on their skin, so bathing before entering the pool can prevent the transfer of urine from your skin to the pool. When you’re done swimming, you should also bathe to rinse off any pool chemicals that may be on your skin.
There are disposable and reusable swim diaper options. Both can be worn under a bathing suit. Shop swim diapers and read customer product reviews on our Healthwick website.
There are a lot of myths about swimming and incontinence. It’s imperative that you understand what’s real, and what isn’t. Read 3 Myths about Swimming and Incontinence on our Healthwick blog, we debunk popular myths and give you the facts.
If you need help selecting a swim diaper or simply would like some more information, please get in touch with us! Our Healthwick customer care team are product experts and can answer any questions you may have. Click here to contact us.
- Amy C