There are basic things that every family who enjoys spending time at the pool or beach should know about water safety.
Adults should always supervise children 17 years of age and under, especially at private pools which operate without a trained lifeguard present.
Water clarity is an important part of pool safety. Clear water does not guarantee that the water treatment chemicals are balanced properly. If the water is not clear, the filtration system and chemicals are definitely not in balance. The ability to see if someone has been under water for a long period is critical for preventing drowning deaths.
Around the pool
Safety around the pool is as important as the pool itself. The deck must be kept free of obstructions and in good repair so that bathers can walk around the deck without incident. The pool’s edge must also be kept in good repair. Glass bottles and containers are serious cutting hazards. Boisterous activity or “horseplay” must be prohibited. A first aid kit and a phone for calling 911 should also be nearby in case an accident does happen.
General pool health and safety tips
- Remember to keep an eye on your child at all times. Kids can drown in seconds and in silence.
- Don’t use air-filled swimming aids (such as “water wings”) on children as life jackets for life preservers.
- All children should wear life jackets.
- Protect your child against sunburn by using a sunscreen with at least SPF 15 and both UVA and UVB protection, and be sure to re-apply it after swimming. A few serious sunburns can increase the risk of developing skin cancer.
- Don’t allow someone with diarrhea to swim. An ill swimmer can spread germs through the water and make others sick.
- Before entering a pool, rinse any loose dirt, oils and bacteria off your body. This will help keep the pool clean.
Tips to avoid getting sick from the swimming pool
- Don’t swallow pool water and try to avoid getting water in your mouth.
- Change diapers in a restroom, not at the poolside.
- Wash your hands with soap and water after using the toilet or after changing diapers.
- Take your kids on bathroom breaks often. Don’t wait for them to tell you they have to go, because it may be too late.