Public Pool Etiquette 101

The time has come...

It's that time of year again! It is time for the pool. You know what else it is time to experience? I think another etiquette hub is long overdue. So why not a hub about proper public pool etiquette? It's time to explore the topic of public pool etiquette.

Maybe you belong to a gym with a pool. Perhaps you are lucky enough to get to go on a real vacation this summer and you are going to stay at a resort with a pool. You might even be like me and live in an apartment building with a community pool. No matter what situation applies to you, a public pool is a place where we need to follow some rules and remember our manners just like any other place.

Don't pee in the pool!

First things first, let's talk about peeing in the pool. I know what you are thinking, "That is so gross! I don't want to think about that." It is something we must all confront. Sometimes in life there are some very sensitive topics, but we must still approach them with dignity and maturity.

So, back to what I was saying - no peeing in the pool! For that matter, no poop in the pool either! I know it is hard to imagine that some people are doing this in the pool, but the rumors are true. There are people that imagine the public pool is the public restroom. Perhaps they have a bladder issue or maybe they are just too lazy to leave the pool when they need to use the bathroom. No matter the situation, don't pee in the pool! If you can't control your bladder, don't get in the pool. There are some things chlorine just can't erase.

While we are on the "gross" topic, no spitting, throwing up, or having sex in the pool. Yeah, I said it! And you know who you are! All of those activities are fine in your private pool (well, really not, but it's your pool), but if it's a public pool, nope. Just say no to being disgusting in the pool.

Did you bring some for everyone?

Ah, nothing is better than lounging around by the pool relaxing. It can be so much fun snacking, drinking some iced tea, and laying out in the sun. You know what isn't fun? Please do not bring a grill (even a small portable grill) to the pool and break out hamburgers. Did you bring some for everyone? If so, hey, OK... you are really awesome after all. If not, go away, Grill Master! You are making me hungry and probably breaking some pool rules. Don't make me send the lifeguard after you.

Don't ruin my day with your annoying kids.

Do you have a bunch of kids? Are they annoying? Be honest; you know if you have annoying children. If your kids are obnoxious and they are bringing their obnoxious friends, either limit their time at the pool or make them behave.

I go to the pool to relax. I don't need splash fights and beach balls flying at my head. I want to go to my section of the pool, pretend I can swim, and float around on my little float. That is really what many of us want at the pool. Please do not subject everyone to your unruly little brats.

Also, if your kids can't swim, how about you keep a close eye on them? I don't know CPR and not every public pool has a lifeguard. So let's not make this relaxing day take a dramatic turn. Watch your children in the pool. If you can't control them, don't take them to the pool.

The Lifeguard is Not a Babysitter

While we are on the topic of watching your children, I would like to discuss another issue I noticed this weekend. The lifeguard is not a babysitter!

If you have children, don't just go to the pool, leave them there, and assume the lifeguard will watch your kids. The lifeguard is sitting there making sure none of the swimmers drown. That is her job. Her job is not to make sure your kid doesn't get out of the pool and wander over to the vending machines. That is YOUR job as the parent.

You see, when you opted to have children, you opted to be responsible for them. You should make sure they don't get into trouble and that type of thing. I know those pesky kids don't come with an owner's manual, but there are plenty of library books on the subject of child rearing. If you are having difficulty on the whole "having kids and being responsible for them" issue, perhaps you should check out some helpful books on the subject.

No, even the shark outfit won't make it OK to bring your dog to the pool.
No, even the shark outfit won't make it OK to bring your dog to the pool. | Source

Leave Your Pets at Home

I understand that Fido and Fifi might enjoy swimming in the pool just like anyone else, but don't bring your pets to a public pool. No one wants to deal with animal hair in the pool. It is bad enough dealing with human hair! Also, I don't know if you noticed, but wet dog is not the best smell in the world.

Yes, your pets are cute. No, they can't come to the pool.

Let's talk about proper attire.

Oh, man! It's another sensitive subject. Let's talk about the proper outfit for the pool. Here are some examples of not so great wardrobe ideas for the public pool:

  • Jeans
  • Running shoes
  • Complete t-shirt and shorts/capris outfit while in pool.
  • Pajamas
  • Thong
  • No clothes at all!

Please wear a nice bathing suit, bikini, tankini, tank top with bikini bottom, shorts, etc. at the pool. Also, and this is a touchy subject, please consider your weight when picking out the proper outfit. I hate to say this, but not everyone can wear a speedo or string bikini. Don't feel bad about it! It is OK to wear a one piece or a tankini. Those outfits are cute! At least that is what my friends tell me when I wear them.

Don't be a creeper.

Yes, I realize everyone at the pool is pretty close to being naked. I know some people do not get out much. I see how that can be really excited. Guess what? Staring is not polite. So stop. I think I've said enough.

Source

Obey all the safety rules!

Oh wait, did a serious topic manage to work its way into one of my etiquette hubs? Why, yes, it did. While you are at the pool, please take note of the rules. They could just possibly save your life. If the lifeguard needs the pool cleared once an hour, do it. They are only trying to keep you safe. If you are not supposed to dive into certain sections of the pool, don't dive. Obviously, that rule is in place for a reason. Cracking your head open at the bottom of the pool is probably not high on your to-do list. Then, of course, everyone would have to deal with blood in the pool, and if you thought pee in the pool was gross, well....

OK, I lost track there, but the public pool rules exist for a reason. So while at the public pool this summer, have fun, but stay safe. Follow the rules, mind your manners, and enjoy your summer!

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Comments 22 comments

Drew Breezzy profile image

Drew Breezzy 5 years ago from somewhere in my mind

"Don't ruin my day with your annoying kids" soooo true!


Jeannieinabottle profile image

Jeannieinabottle 5 years ago from Baltimore, MD Author

I'm glad you liked that. Some kids just don't behave at the pool. Thanks for the comment.


Jeanastra 5 years ago

All great reasons to avoid public pools entirely. ICK. Give me the ocean. ;-)


Jeannieinabottle profile image

Jeannieinabottle 5 years ago from Baltimore, MD Author

But think of all the gross things the animals are doing out in that water? Ewww!!! Just kidding. I like the ocean, too, but I am not a swimmer so I prefer the safety of a pool. Also, a jelly fish stung me once and I never quite relax so much anymore in the ocean. That is the good thing about the pool - no jelly fish! Thanks for the comment. :-)


Jeanastra 5 years ago

I hear you........jellyfish = BAD! I was in Naples, FL once and after an impromptu swim I noticed a GIANT sign on the beach warning people of stingrays. Needless to say, I never went back into the water at that beach. The water in New England is typically too cold for that type of thing although, there have been some Great White sightings by fisherman. The ocean can be scary!


Jeannieinabottle profile image

Jeannieinabottle 5 years ago from Baltimore, MD Author

Ouch! Stingrays... I don't blame you for not going back. There can be some scary creatures out in the ocean. I usually walk about a foot into the water and that is just about enough for me.


Cogerson profile image

Cogerson 5 years ago from Virginia

Very nicely done Jeannieinabottle.....luckily for us the pool is in the backyard and about to be opened in 3 days....but great advice for public pools....bring on the sun and the fun....voted up


Jeannieinabottle profile image

Jeannieinabottle 5 years ago from Baltimore, MD Author

That must be nice to have a pool in your backyard. To be honest, the pool at my apartment building is not bad at all. It is usually very clean and not too many noisy kids use it. It is great. Thanks for the vote up!


nycgrl profile image

nycgrl 5 years ago from New York

The annoying kids rule should apply to all public places! I hate it when parents are like oh you don't understand, you don't have children, stop being a bitter single girl. Umm hello not only do I come from a big family with tons of children but I also used to work in pre-schools with my mother who was a pre-school teacher. So I love kids...but not ones that don't know how to behave. And you can teach them the proper way to act and they can still have fun without ruining it for everyone else.

I also love your comments on being "gross" at the pool and saying what we all know really goes on at some public pools...yea chlorine cannot kill everything!


Jeannieinabottle profile image

Jeannieinabottle 5 years ago from Baltimore, MD Author

Yes, I agree! The annoying children rule should apply everywhere. I know people sometimes tell me it is just because I do not have kids, as well. My answer to that is, "That is right. I don't have kids for a reason. Plus, I know how to read the instructions on the birth control package." That does not always go over so well. I get frustrated at work about that, too. I constantly have to cover for people who call out at the last minute due to childcare issues. I don't have children, nor do I plan on having them. It is not like I will ever have the opportunity to do the same. Sigh. I am rambling now. Sorry.

Yes, there is some pretty gross stuff going on at public pools. Some people complain at my building that the pool is not open at night. I am OK with that since that would mean more opportunity for people to do disgusting things at night in the pool.

Thanks for the comment!


VendettaVixen profile image

VendettaVixen 5 years ago from Ireland

So true. It really gets on my nerves when mothers just dump their kids in the pool and expect the life guard and other people to look after them while the mom goes to take a nap in the sun.

I've had to deal with so many tantrums from my toddler-age godson because some "stupidhead" took his pool toy.

Then it's like the parent's don't even notice that they're going home with one more toy than they had when they first got to the pool.

Fortunatly, public (or private) pools aren't too common in Ireland, so it's really only a holiday thing.


Jeannieinabottle profile image

Jeannieinabottle 5 years ago from Baltimore, MD Author

I really don't understand why more people don't have commom sense now. It seems simple - if you have a child, watch your child. Guess that is not how it is anymore. Thanks for reading and for the comment.


emilybee profile image

emilybee 4 years ago

You are so funny, this is all so true. Staring is not polite, haha! True statement, and I agree with the annoying kids part, too. Great hub :-)


onegreenparachute profile image

onegreenparachute 4 years ago from Greenwood, B.C., Canada

My favourite pool sign:

This is our ool

Notice there is no P in it

Please keep it that way!

Great Hub! Thanks Jeannie.


Jeannieinabottle profile image

Jeannieinabottle 4 years ago from Baltimore, MD Author

emilybee - There is a creepy guy that always stares at every female at the pool. It is unsettling and obvious. To top it off, I think he lives on the 13th floor. Yuck! Thanks for checking out my hub.

onegreenparachute - Yes, that is a great sign! I've seen that a time or two at pools. Thanks so much for the comment. :-)


DanaTeresa profile image

DanaTeresa 4 years ago from Ohio

You are SO right. I would love to pring this out and distribute it poolside!!! Really enjoyed reading this!


Sunshine625 profile image

Sunshine625 4 years ago from Orlando, FL

I have an inground pool at my house so I don't have to worry about the dos and don'ts, but one thing I remember seeing is a woman giving herself a pedicure at a community pool...clipping toenails and sloughing off dead skin. Ewwww!


Jeannieinabottle profile image

Jeannieinabottle 4 years ago from Baltimore, MD Author

DanaTeresa - Hahaha... maybe that would help at public pools. I am here to help make pools a better place to visit. :-) Thanks for the comment!

Sunshine625 - Oh that is so disgusting. I still haven't seen a poolside pedicure yet, but I would not rule out the possibility. Thanks for sharing! And ewww!


tirelesstraveler profile image

tirelesstraveler 4 years ago from California

You are a brave soul to broach such a subject. You did a nice job.


Jeannieinabottle profile image

Jeannieinabottle 4 years ago from Baltimore, MD Author

You know, it's dirty work, but somebody's got to do it. Pool etiquette must be discussed. Thanks for the comment!


lambservant profile image

lambservant 3 years ago from Pacific Northwest

I got tired of public pools when my kids were younger and started taking them to a freshwater man made lake. It was full of families. but there was a lot more room to move around while swimming. My sister and I were standing in the water about up to our chest talking and watching the kids swim when a nice buoyant turd came bobbing by. As we were rushing out of the water we saw a three year old standing about waist high in the water with that look of concentration on his face that small kids make when they are soiling their pants. I quit swimming anywhere except my bathtub.


Jeannieinabottle profile image

Jeannieinabottle 3 years ago from Baltimore, MD Author

Oh wow, that is totally disgusting. I guess a lake makes too many people feel free to do whatever they want... especially a 3 year old no one seems to be watching. Disturbing! Thanks for sharing!

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    Jeannie InABottle (Jeannieinabottle)1,161 Followers
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    Jeannie has been writing for HubPages for over 5 years. She covers a wide variety of topics - anything from hamsters to office work.



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