Holiday Illness Claims – swimming pools in the spotlight
Swimming pools are notoriously hard to maintain at the correct level of hygiene and safety, and a study has found that in popular holiday resorts up to one in every eight swimming pools is unfit for…well, swimming in.As we bid farewell to the BBC’s Save My Holiday series for 2011, it’s emerged that there has been an incredible increase in holiday illness compensation claims from people made ill by their hotel swimming pool.
Bacteria in swimming pools most commonly cause ear infections on holiday, which can lead to a real loss of enjoyment of your holiday which in itself can form the basis of a holiday compensation claim.
Other holiday illnesses caused by dirty swimming pools are e-coli, shigella – a form of dysentery – and most alarmingly cryptosporidium. This bacteria can cause severe diarrhoea which can even be fatal in the very young or old. Between 3,000 to 6,000 cases of cryptosporidiosis are diagnosed every year in the UK as a result of holiday illness caused by swimming pools. Worryingly, ‘crypto’ cannot be killed by chlorine, so how do you ensure you’re diving into a great holiday, not a dangerous pool?
It’s estimated that 20 million holiday days are lost every year due to water-related illness, many from bacteria-infected swimming pools. The chlorine levels and Ph of the pool water are vital – chlorine should be 1.5 to 3.0 and Ph levels (the balance of acidity and alkalinity) between 7.2 – 7.4. Many hotel pools display these figures each morning – if yours does, take note.
But the most swimming pool illnesses are caused by poor filtration systems which cause the build-up of bacteria. This is where the look of the pool is vital – does it look murky? Can you see the bottom of the swimming pool? If that’s a yes and a no, don’t swim in it!
For further protection always ensure that you shower before and after swimming, and if you have been or are ill on holiday, don’t use the pool or you may be passing your holiday illness on to others.
As Save My Holiday advises, if you are ill on holiday and think it may be due to a dirty swimming pool ensure that you complain to your holiday rep and/or hotel management; get everything in writing; get names and addresses of other holiday makers taken ill on holiday; and complain to your tour operator in writing on your return to the UK.
This could all strengthen your case to claim holiday illness compensation from your tour operator. We are experts in holiday illness compensation claims and will give you an open and honest opinion on your chances of holiday compensation claim success from the outset.