The Safety of Swimming in Natural Lakes vs Pools

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Swimming is a sport that’s very popular all over the world. Not only is it a great way to cool off on a hot summer day, it’s a fun way to get some invigorating exercise!

But is it better to swim in pools or in lakes? Many swimmers perform one body of water to the other, and they each have their reasons. Some folks prefer the controlled environment of a pool, where the water is sanitized and treated; others want to swim in a more natural environment, which is why they head for the lake.

Beyond personal preferences in the pool vs. lake swimming debate, there are legitimate safety concerns in both cases. After all, one of these is easier to secure with a mesh safety fence than the other. Let’s examine the benefits and drawbacks of these two popular swimming locales.

Lakes: The Pros                

When it comes to aesthetics, lakes often win the pool vs. lake swimming argument. There’s no denying that swimming in a lake is a beautiful experience. You’re outdoors, usually surrounded by trees and natural landscapes.

Most lakes are also substantially larger than the average pool, which opens you up to new opportunities. You can go swimming, boating, jet skiing — if the lake is large enough, the possibilities are nearly endless! This can make for a more exciting afternoon at the water, as you can mix up your activities throughout the day.

Lakes: The Cons

While lake swimming does have its upside, there are also many drawbacks that can influence the pool vs. lake swimming debate. The largest of these is the lack of control: a lake is a natural entity, and that means you can never be sure exactly what’s under the water’s surface.

Because many lakes are so deep (and because there are no lights illuminating the water) it can be difficult to see the bottom. This can be a real safety hazard. It’s much more difficult to see someone submerged under the water. If a fellow swimmer starts to drown, you might not notice they’re missing until it’s too late.

Lakes are often also filled with unknown debris like rocks and vegetation, on which swimmers can easily cut themselves. Cutting your arms or legs on an underwater rock or dead tree can be very uncomfortable and rather dangerous; because lake water is not sanitized or chemically treated, you could contract an infection if you swim with an open cut. Similarly, swimming in unclean lake water can contribute to ear and eye infections.

Another problem with lake swimming (and why it struggles to win the pool vs. lake swimming debate) is the fact that many lakes fed by rivers or the ocean — have currents that can be hazardous to inexperienced swimmers.

Pools: The Pros

Now that we’ve discussed lakes, let’s talk about the benefits of pool swimming. First of all, pools are often much more convenient — many cities have community pools for their residents, and some families even have pools in their own backyards! The ease and simplicity of accessing a pool is almost enough to have it win the pool vs. lake swimming argument alone. But that’s not all.

Pools also tend to be much cleaner than natural lakes. This is because most pool owners take extra care to make sure the pool is sanitized, oxidized, and pH balanced on a regular basis. You’re far less likely to pick up an infection from swimming in the local pool.

Finally, pools are much more conducive to safe swimming. Most pools have large lights in the walls (so everyone can see who is underwater and where), and are much shallower than lakes, making it easier to see and rescue someone in an emergency. Also, pools are much, much, easier to close up and cover when swimming time is over, ensuring that no one gets into the water without supervision.

Pools: The Cons

All those benefits may make it seem that pools have the pool vs. lake swimming debate all sewn up. However, pools do have their drawbacks, too. One of the biggest issues pools have is their cement pool decks. It can be very easy for children to become injured at the swimming pool: bonking heads against the cement walls or floor and slipping on the wet deck are common causes of injury at swimming pools.

A swimming pool can also be an uncomfortable place for individuals with sensitive skin. The many chemicals used to keep the water sparkling clean can irritate a person’s skin and eyes, causing rashes or other forms of discomfort. Thankfully, this particular issue doesn’t affect all people, but if you or someone in your family has sensitive skin, you might want to consider this before diving in.

Which One is Best?

So, after looking at all the facts, who wins the battle of pool vs. lake swimming? We believe that pools win by a long shot. They’re cleaner, safer, and more convenient.

Of course, the key to having a great swimming pool is to have the proper safety measures in place. If you don’t have a pool fence or cover for your pool, it’s high time to invest in one! Click here to find a certified All-Safe dealer in your area and schedule your free, on-site consultation.

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