As much as I love cooling off in the summer, there are a few things that make me think twice before heading to public pools. Don't get me wrong, central Minnesota is home to many awesome public pools...this is advice to take with you no matter what public pool you're at. Consider this to be a survival guide of all the things you should avoid.

  • Warm spots--Avoid these at all costs.
  • Bandages--Every single time I go to a public pool I always come across someone's used bandage. It grosses me out more than anything! The worst is when you see kids playing with them and throwing them at each other.
  • Bathrooms--The floor is always soaking wet and there's always balls of soggy toilet paper everywhere. I can't tell if it's water, pee or a mixture of both.
  • Going barefoot--This is how you catch foot fungi from other people. Make sure that you've got flip flops with you or water shoes. You don't want to catch warts.
  • Public lawn chairs--Parents seem to use these as their personal changing tables. There's no chance I want to lounge where a parent changed their child's blowout.
  • Kiddie pools--I've heard that these are made up of 90% pee. Now, that's just a rumor, but I'm not willing to risk it.
  • Water fountains--Does anyone else ever notice that it's always gunked up with stuff. I've witnessed children putting their whole mouths on the spout. So, if you want to stay safe, bring your own bottles of water.
  • Vending machines--I'm not sure how often the snacks get changed out. I always feel like I have the worst luck and get the only stale bag of chips in the machine...or perhaps, they're all that way.
  • Eye contact with the lifeguard--Once you establish direct eye contact, they watch you like a hawk because they think you're up to no good. You don't want to be on their radar.

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