Summertime is here and there is nothing like enjoying a cool splash in a pool, whether a backyard pool or public pool. But remember to protect yourself from Recreational Water Illnesses (RWIs) and pool safety.
Pool management or owners should have specialized training in maintaining a pool properly. The chlorine and PH levels should be checked twice daily for assurance. If not sure, ask and inquire about the health department’s pool inspection report. Look at the pool and surroundings and make sure the water is clear and the drains and bottom are visible. If you see anything different, let the pool operator know so it can be corrected.
Pool water is not drinking water and remember the pool is shared with everyone. RWI’s are killed by chlorine, but it doesn’t work right away.
Remember these tips:
• Don’t swim when you have diarrhea
• Avoid getting water in your mouth
• Always shower before getting into the pool
• Take children on bathroom breaks
Chlorine takes time to kill germs and even the best maintained pools can spread germs.
Next, pool safety is very important because mishaps can occur at any time. Stay focused and be alert! Be sure you can swim, and as the adult, you should learn or know CPR in the event something goes wrong. Other factors include unsupervised swimming and failure to wear life jackets. Supervision plays an important role and there should be a designated adult or lifeguard on duty to watch young children in and around the pool areas.
If someone around the pool is subject to seizures, that person should have their own personal supervisor. Water wings, noodles and other air-filled devices do not take the place of adult supervision and are not designed to keep swimmers safe. Only life jackets can be worn for their safety.
And last, please let everyone know the location of the telephone, telephone number and the address where the pool is located. This is very important when making a 911 call.
Hope all pool users find these tips very useful and enjoy the pool and have a safe summer.
Perry Solice is a REHS Environmental Health Supervisor for the Sampson County Health Department.