3 doctors weighed in:

What are the health risks of using public swimming pools, if any?

3 doctors weighed in
David Miller
Family Medicine
2 doctors agree

In brief: Minimal

In a properly maintained public bathing facility, the biggest health risk is athletes foot from the locker room. However, if someone in the pool has bad diarrhea, for example, it is possible to get a nasty e.
Coli infection from drinking the water. Similarly, if you are immunocompromised, it's possible to get things like legionarres disease from the moist air. But generally it's really safe.

In brief: Minimal

In a properly maintained public bathing facility, the biggest health risk is athletes foot from the locker room. However, if someone in the pool has bad diarrhea, for example, it is possible to get a nasty e.
Coli infection from drinking the water. Similarly, if you are immunocompromised, it's possible to get things like legionarres disease from the moist air. But generally it's really safe.
David Miller
David Miller
Answer assisted by David Miller, Medical Student
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Dr. Edward Neilsen
Family Medicine
1 doctor agrees

In brief: Sun, chlorine

You are more likely to be adversely affected by a bad sunburn or chemical irritation from he high chlorine content in public swimming pools than from a contagious bug.
Chlorine is exceptionally good at killing bacteria and viruses, and transmission is very unlikely. Hot tubs, if improperly cleaned, can harbor bacteria. The same is true for kiddie pools - lower water volume and chlorine content.

In brief: Sun, chlorine

You are more likely to be adversely affected by a bad sunburn or chemical irritation from he high chlorine content in public swimming pools than from a contagious bug.
Chlorine is exceptionally good at killing bacteria and viruses, and transmission is very unlikely. Hot tubs, if improperly cleaned, can harbor bacteria. The same is true for kiddie pools - lower water volume and chlorine content.
Dr. Edward Neilsen
Dr. Edward Neilsen
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1 comment
Dr. Edward Neilsen
Also applies to bugs transmitted person-to-person. Urine is not usually a problem even if the person has an infection. Some organisms in stool could potentially be transmitted, but the chance is exceedingly low given that it would be diluted in so much water. You are much more likely to catch something in the locker room or on the gate handle leaving the pool.
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