We’re guessing that you’re as excited as we are with the onset of summer! Long warm days, sunshine, blue skies and – of course – swimming. 

As you know by now, we at Pool Spa are all about your comfort and safety, and we want to make sure that your summer fun in the sun doesn’t result in painful sun damage. The question arises then; can we still sunburn while swimming?

Of course, the short answer is yes.

But if we know this then why do we still end up with scarlet backs and peeling shoulders?

Why Do We Sunburn While Swimming?

There is the rumour that water protects you from the UV rays of our delicious summer sun. Therefore, surely as soon as we’re underwater we’re safe? 

Actually, no. 

Water certainly will dilute the full effects of the sun, but you can still expect around 40 per cent of the UV-B to reach your body if you’re in half a meter of water. To be completely safe from the ultra-violet light you have to dive a little deeper, a good few meters in fact. 

So if you’re sitting on the martini step with your beer and chips then you’re going to need sunblock.

Another reason why we burn is simply that the cooling water (and all the fun we’re having) tends to lull us into a false sense of security. We aren’t hot and sweaty, we don’t feel the piercing rays of the sun, so we don’t think about it. 

As you probably know, a couple of hours of unprotected frolicking in the swimming pool will result in sunburn. 

Snorkelling, in particular, can prove problematic if we’re not careful. While our minds and faces are busy underwater, our backs are taking the full brunt of the South African sun.

So slather on that sunscreen before hitting the pool this summer, and stay safe.