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Sunscreen and your pool

11 April 2012

Protect your family and your pool this summer

Sunscreen and your pool

Whether you relax, work or play in your pool, sun protection is something that everyone should take seriously. We all know the importance of using sunscreen on our bodies, but have you ever thought about the affect the sun's UV rays might have on your pool?

Protect your family and your pool this summer with these great sunscreen products.

For your pool

You might seem puzzled as to why your pool even needs sunscreen in the first place, but the reason we need this product is quite similar to why we use it ourselves.

"We apply sunscreen to our skin because we want to minimise the damage of the sun's UV rays on our bodies," says Chris Fitzmaurice, Swimart Australasian manager. "Pool sunscreen helps to reduce the impact the sun has on your pool."

In summer, the amount of direct intense sunlight your pool is exposed to rises dramatically. The sun's UV rays ‘eat' away at the chlorine in your pool, destroying up to 30 per cent of the chemical every hour. This means you have to top up the chlorine levels much more regularly than usual. In turn, the drop in chlorine levels can encourage the growth of harmful bacteria and even algae in your pool. This is where the sunscreen product comes in to prevent the damage to the chlorine levels.

"Checking the sunscreen levels in the pool every month can save you heaps of money on extra chlorine," says Chris. "The easiest way to do this is to bring a water sample into your nearest Swimart store."

Swimart stocks Aqua Health's pool sunscreen range which comes in convenient resealable packaging for multiple use. The beauty of this product is how easy it is to reap the benefits; just pour in the amount specified on the product for the size of your pool and that's it.

"Some stabilised chlorine products already contain sunscreens," says Chris. "However, this does not mean that the levels are consistently high enough to protect your pool. I would advise still checking the levels monthly even if your chlorine product already has sunscreen in it."

For you and your family

Now that your pool is protected, ensure your family is safe from the sun as well.

Sunscreen, also called sun block, block out and sun cream, comes in the form of a lotion or gel that either absorbs or reflects UV radiation before it damages the skin.

"Although we all cheer when the sun comes out, we really need to remember to protect ourselves properly," says Chris. "Especially when you and the kids are out in the pool area, where there will likely be a lack of shade."

Your family, particularly the youngsters, need all the protection they can get, so make sure your sunscreen is broad spectrum (meaning it blocks both UVA and UVB rays) and SPF 30+ (which prevents 97 per cent of rays from getting to the skin). Check the use by date on the sunscreen you have buried in the depths of your cupboard, as out-of-date products lose their effectiveness.

For use in and around the pool, it is important to remember to re-apply sunscreen after swimming, as some types wash off. Although some products claim to be water-resistant, it is always better to be safe and re-apply.

What also needs to be remembered when using sunscreen is that it doesn't make you invincible; it should always be used in conjunction with other sun protection products like hats, clothing, shade and sunglasses.

Natural options

Want a more natural alternative to protecting your family from the sun?

Here's a few choices for you:

  • UV Natural Sunscreen SPF 30+
  • Eco All Natural Sunscreen
  • Invisible Zinc 4 Hour Water Resistant Natural Sunscreen
  • Wotnot Natural Family Sunscreen

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