How to Cool Down & Stay Safe at the Pool
Warm weather and swimming go hand in hand. When the heat of summer finally rolls in, don’t let an injury hold you back from perfecting your cannonball.
Whether you’ve got a backyard oasis or you’re visiting the neighborhood pool, aquatic safety is a must for fun in the sun. Learn more about pool safety and sanitation to ensure you and your loved ones have a fun and safe summer.
Carefully monitor chlorine levels
Chlorine levels in your pool must be monitored to ensure that they’re not too low or too high. If they’re too low, the pool may have dangerous germs and infections lurking in the depths. If they’re too high, swimming in the pool can cause painful burns and rashes. The CDC recommends pH 7.2–7.8 and a free chlorine concentration of at least 1 ppm in pools and at least 3 ppm in hot tubs/spas for private pool owners. Some diseases spread by unsanitary pool conditions are listed below.
- Diarrheal infections
- Ear, respiratory and skin infections
Be careful – public pools and waterparks are more likely to be over-chlorinated and you won’t be able to personally monitor levels. As an adult, it will be easier for you to quickly identify symptoms of chlorine burn on yourself before they become serious. It’s often more difficult to do the same for your child. Instead, watch for the warning signs, including itching skin or rubbing eyes excessively, red, tender rashes and an overwhelming smell of chlorine. After prolonged exposure, even 30 minutes, serious symptoms may develop. Some of these are listed below.
- Skin redness, tenderness or itchiness at sight of contact
- Skin lesions, which may blister or even bleed in severe cases
- Scales, crust or scabs on the skin
In extreme cases, the skin may develop bulbous-looking blisters, filled with fluids, and the skin may begin to turn white and peel. If you or a loved one experience these symptoms after swimming in a chlorinated pool, you should seek immediate medical care as ruptured blisters can lead to scarring and even infection. To learn more about keeping your pool safe and sanitary, go to the CDC’s informational page.
Keep a very close eye on children
Many children who drown are missing for only a few minutes and under the supervision of both parents. Here are some quick tips to ensure your child’s safety.
- Put up appropriate barriers around the pool to keep children from falling in
- Teach children to ask permission to go swimming
- Remind children to always swim with buddies and make sure they know where their friends are at all times
- Limit the amount of time they’re under direct sun from 10:00 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- If a child is missing, check the water first – seconds are often the difference in death and disability
You can also enroll children in swimming classes from an early age. Some classes even teach toddlers how to float on their backs if they fall into water. Visit the Red Cross website to find classes near you.
Proper drain covers
Ensure that any pool you visit – whether it’s public or in someone’s yard – has proper drain covers and teach children to not swim near or play with and remove them. As harmless as they may seem, uncovered drains can cause serious injuries. This is especially true for public pools that need stronger drainage and suction. A large drain can trap an adult, sucking in a limb or your hair, and cause drowning. If you’re visiting a public pool, or even a spa, and see that a drain cover is damaged or missing, immediately alert staff.
Victoria ER wants to help you enjoy summers with your family while staying safe, whether you’re diving into the deep end or tubing at a waterpark. Visit poolsafely.gov for more information and let us know your favorite spots to cool down in the summer!
Nutex Health, Inc supports you and your family’s health. You can depend on Victoria ER or any one of our concierge-level, freestanding emergency facilities to deliver the emergency care you deserve, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.