Public and backyard pools offer affordable summer fun for the family. But remember to focus on pool safety whenever around any pool.
Pool management or operators should have specialized training in pool maintenance. The chlorine and pH levels should be checked at least twice daily for compliance. Chlorine takes time to kill germs and the best maintained pools can spread germs. Always look at the surroundings of the pool and make sure the drains are visible, if not, contact the pool operator immediately, do not enter the pool until it is corrected.
Next, pool safety is very important and mishaps can occur at any given time. Be sure you can swim and as an adult you should know CPR just in case an accident happens. Supervision plays an important role and there should always be a designated adult or lifeguard on duty to watch your children in and around the pool areas.
Our advice on maintaining a healthy, yet recreational summer is to:
• Keep diarrhea sufferers out of the pool
• Take children to restrooms every hour
• Check swim diapers often (don’t change on poolside)
• Shower before and after swimming
• Teach young children not to pee or poop in pool
• Do the smell test – pools should not have a strong chlorine smell
• Make sure the water is crystal clear
• Ask to see an inspection report
Remember, pool water is not drinking water and is shared with everyone. Avoid swallowing the water at all costs, but just that simple act can protect anyone from many pool related health issues. Germs can survive in even well maintained pools for several days. Also, note the location of the phone, phone number and address of the pool for 911 purposes. Sometimes a pool may display a closure sign, this could be due to any of the following: phone service out of order, chlorine or pH concentration, fencing not adequate, water clarity or equipment not working properly.
So before you enter the pool, check with the operator for your protection from any water illnesses. Remember, stay focused, enjoy the cool splash and stay safe and healthy.
For more information about swimming pool safety or other Environmental Health services, please call 910-592-4675.
Perry Solice is an environmental health supervisor with the Sampson County Health Department.