It’s Swimming Season! The CDC, the Centers for Disease and Control, have some great info at www.cdc.gov on public pools, hot tubs/spas, and water playgrounds. A recent inspection report from the CDC looked at 40% of the nation’s public water venues, (in Arizona, California, Texas, Florida and New York) and found that 80% had at least one violation.
One in 5 wading pools had to be closed, and one in eight of all of them had to be closed. Little children can be especially susceptible to illnesses and water contamination issues, but asthmatics should take specific precautions. Have you been to a pool where your eyes burned? Well, you probably weren’t smelling the chlorine, as much as the combination of the chlorine with the pee, poop, sweat and dirt. The pee-poop-chlorine combination products you smell are called chloramines.
So, when a pool has a strong odor, just remember that a lot of the chlorine has already been used up with the “lunch-leftovers” that were deposited in the pool. The smell may signal there isn’t much chlorine left for when your child adds his “little something” to the pool. So, what is a safe pH and chlorine/bromine level? Check the CDC web site for suggestions.
Incidentally, if you have an asthmatic who is really sensitive, you can get your own test strips. Other safety issues include visually seeing the drain at the bottom of the deep end and look for the cover, being sure it appears intact. If no life guard is on duty have and know how to use rescue equipment. Shower before swimming. Don’t swim if having diarrhea. No one should willfully pee or poop in the water. Don’t swallow any water, in case the swimmer in front of you didn’t read the email about not peeing or pooping in the water. Take kids on bathroom breaks every hour or as needed, and change diapers away from poolside. Enjoy swimming this summer… and drink plenty of water…. Just not out of the pool. Give that kid a hug!