Pool Safety Tips for Memorial Day Weekend
from NBC Washington
Public and private pools across the D.C. area will open in just a few days for Memorial Day weekend. As you and your family gets ready for some summer fun, there are steps you can take to keep you and your children safe.
Laura Metro, founder of the C.L.A.Y Foundation, shared several easy tips oon saving lives this summer.
Pool Safety: 7 Essential Tips
Posted on May 13, 2013 by Johnson Pools and Spas
No matter how much experience you have owning and operating your pool, it's still important to receive a refresher course on essential pool-safety procedures. With summer right around the corner, now's a great time to revisit pool safety to ensure a fun-filled summer free of accidents and injuries.
Your pool-safety refresher course should cover proper procedures for storing and handling chemicals, posting signage and making sure areas around the pool are safe for family and guests.
Here are seven pool-safety tips.
1. Organize chemical storage
The start of the pool season is a great time to fine-tune your pool chemical storage procedures. You might be light on inventory and ready to make your first trip to your local dealer. But before doing so, look at your storage area and consider making a few changes. Jerry Pierrottie, environmental health and safety (EHS) manager with Arch Chemicals, Inc., now part of Lonza, suggests creating a divider to separate sanitizers, shocks and other maintenance products to avoid chemical reactions.
"Put a divider in between [chemical containers] or make cubby holes," Pierrottie says. "If you don't have a divider, keep containers four feet apart or put liquids in secondary containment to control possible spills."
2. Don't mix or pre-dissolve chemicals
Pool chemicals are designed to work alone, and Pierrottie cautions against mixing different chemicals together.
"Some products are very reactive, and some are less reactive," he says. "Mixing chemicals can result in a little generation of heat, gasses and chlorine odor or [can escalate to] excessive heat and explosions."
Jane Merritt, owner of Anchor Pools in Easley, S.C., adds that pool owners should never pre-dissolve chemicals in a bucket before treating a pool, especially for shock treatments. Instead, apply the products directly to the pool water to avoid potential chemical burns or a chemical reaction.
3. Safely clean up chemical spills
Chemical spills are a part of owning and maintaining a pool, but it's how you deal with the spills that's most important. Pierrottie suggests incorporating safe clean-up practices to make sure spills don't escalate from a minor incident to a hazardous situation.
"Clean up one chemical at a time to avoid causing any reactions," he says. "Liquids should be mopped up or absorbed, and solids should be swept up and put directly into your pool."
If you wipe up spills with a rag, place the rag in the pool to let the chemicals rinse off in the water, Pierrottie says.
4. Read pool product labels and MSDS
Before handling any chemicals, it's important to read the directions on chemical labels, Pierrottie says. Additionally, Pierrottie suggests keeping material safety data sheets (MSDS) on hand so you can refer to them should any questions arise.
Merritt gives her customers an online safety checklist provided by The Association of Pool and Spa Professionals (APSP). "Before summer, you can go through the checklist on your own to make sure everything is up to [the APSP's] safety standards," she says.
5. Texturize your deck surface
Safety procedures go beyond the products you use to maintain your pool. A shiny finish on your deck or the concrete surrounding your pool can be aesthetically appealing, but it can cause slips and injuries. Merritt suggests washing slick concrete areas with muriatic acid, which eats away at the top layer of concrete and leaves a textured, slip-free surface.
"With proper research, this is a preventive measure that pool owners can do themselves," she says.
6. Establish rules and post safety signage
As a pool owner, you also act as lifeguard. So it's important to post signs that communicate your pool's rules to visiting friends and family members. Pierrottie suggests posting signage that displays depth levels and in which parts of the pool you allow diving. Additionally, signs that say "No Horseplay" and "No Running" can help prevent injuries outside of the pool.
"Since it's a private pool, homeowners can put up any or no signs," Pierrottie says. "Signage can help inform your kids' friends or help to avoid legal issues should someone get hurt."
You are responsible for every swimmer who gets in your pool, so Merritt suggests discussing rules before parties or when your child's friends come to visit.
"Make sure to perform a swimming test with every child," she says. "That way, you're able to keep an eye on the weak swimmers."
7. Install safety ropes and buoys
To create a safe pool experience for all those who visit your pool, Merritt suggests installing safety rope that's noticeable from shallow depths all the way to the deep end of your pool.
"Always have the safety equipment out," she says. "Avoid drowning hazards by providing life hooks and buoys to swimmers, especially when children are in the water."
article from poollifemag.com
How to keep the kids safe from nasties in the pool this summer
from The Therapy Book
The school summer holidays are nearly here, and many of us will be taking the children for days out at the local swimming pool. However, how can we protect them from some of the nasties that seem to turn up more and more these days in public swimming pools?
Recently, a news article published in the New York Daily News stated that a public swimming pool in Brooklyn had to be shut down when it became contaminated with fecal material. Park officials believed the incident was caused by a dirty diaper.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention publishes a journal called Emerging Infectious Diseases. In the June 2008 issue, the CDC reported a study examining the safety of public swimming pool water in over 160 recreational water facilities. The purpose of the study was to determine how common two parasites occur in public swimming pools.
It turned out that one in 12 public swimming pools are contaminated with parasites.
Researchers in the CDC study took random samples from 160 public swimming pools around Atlanta, Georgia. Two microbial parasites, Cryptosporidium and Giardia, were present in one out of twelve swimming pools. These parasites are found in human feces. They are spread when someone swallows swimming pool water. They are also spread if a person does not wash his or her hands after handling a dirty diaper or eats contaminated food.
The most common symptom of these two parasites is diarrhea. Children and pregnant women can become violently ill from an infestation of Cryptosporidium or Giardia. People with compromised immune systems, such as people with AIDS and cancer patients receiving chemotherapy, are at risk of dying if infested with Cryptosporidium, according to the CDC.
"Baby pools" and smaller, less- frequently attended pools were found to contain the highest presence of these microbial parasites.
Practice safe swimming when visiting public water facilities
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offer the following tips to reduce the risk of becoming ill from swimming in a public swimming pool:
- Do not go swimming if you have diarrhea
- Do not allow your children to go swimming if they have diarrhea
- Make sure your children make a trip to the bathroom before swimming in a public pool
- Do not swallow or drink swimming pool water
- Teach children not to swallow or drink swimming pool water
- Change baby diapers in designated changing areas in restrooms, not at poolside
- Insist on public recreational water facilities that are properly maintained
To learn more about natural health and alternative health techniques, join THE THERAPY BOOK, the most comprehensive one-stop-shop on the web with information on more than 200 holistic therapies and the conditions they treat. Free 10-day trial. Just click on the book below.
Pool Safety Tips
Never leave a child unattended near water in a pool, tub, bucket or ocean. There is no substitute for adult supervision.
Designate a "Water Watcher" to maintain constant watch over children in the pool during gatherings.
The home should be isolated from the pool with a fence at least 60" tall, with a self-closing, self-latching gate. The gate should open away from the pool, and should never be propped open.
Doors and windows should be alarmed to alert adults when opened. Doors should be self-closing and self-latching.
Power-operated pool safety covers are the most convenient and efficient. Solar/floating pool covers are not safety devices.
Keep a phone at poolside so that you never have to leave the pool to answer the phone, and can call for help if needed.
Learn CPR and rescue breathing.
Keep a life-saving ring, shepherd's hook and CPR instructions mounted at poolside.
Do not use flotation devices as a substitute for supervision.
Never leave water in buckets or wading pools.
If a child is missing, always check the pool first. Seconds count.
Remove toys from in and around the pool when not in use.
Don't use floating chlorine dispensers that look like toys.
Instruct babysitters about potential pool hazards, and emphasize the need for constant supervision.
Responsibilities of pool ownership include ensuring children in the home learn to swim, and that adults know CPR.
Do not consider children "drownproof" because they've had swimming lessons.
The Adventures of Splish and Splash
This clever series of games from the CPSC's Pool Safely campaign helps teach kids about swimming pool safety in a fun way. Watch all three of these interactive video games with your kids, and let them take part in Water Safety Month!
Click here to play the games
by Kelly Boudreau, Water Safety Magazine
Most pets love the water and are eager to jump in after a toy. With summer quickly approaching, many people plan to take their pets to the pool, on the boat, or to the beach. Keep in mind these pet water safety tips while enjoying fun in the sun with your four-legged friend.
The following pet water safety tips can be applied to swimming pools, hot tubs, boating, and beaches:
When the pool is not in use, cover it with a pool safety cover. Safety covers can be walked on and will prevent your pets from falling (or jumping) in and becoming trapped in
the pool or tangled in a winter cover.
Pets fatigue easily and have poor depth perception in the water. Be aware of your pet's breathing patterns and whether they seem to be too tired to swim. You should always be there to assist your pets when they want to get out of the water. Finding pool steps or pool ladders can be difficult for an animal, so NEVER leave your pet unattended in the pool.
Pet's body temperatures are different than ours, so be aware of the dangers of hypothermia. Some pet symptoms of hypothermia are dilated pupils, pale or blue gums, decreased heart and respiratory rate, or shivering. If you think your pet may have hypothermia, wrap the pet in a blanket, fill water bottles with warm water to place in the blanket, and take the pet to your veterinarian as soon as possible.
If you pet spends a lot of time outside during the summer and you are worried they will fall in the pool, equip them with a pool alarm. Pool alarms can attach to your pet's collar and alert you inside the house if they come in contact with water. These pool alarms will work for lakes, ponds, pools and out on the boat!
Water causes your pet's fur to lie flat and expose their skin to the sun. Just like our skin gets sunburnt, so can your pet's. If you know your pet is going to get his or her fur wet, you should rub them down with sunscreen in any sun-exposed places.
Have your pet wear a dog life vest when boating, at the beach or at the pool. Dog life vests will keep your pet afloat and be an extra sense of security for you and your animal. Dog life vests are made for animals of all sizes.
You should NEVER allow your pet in the hot tub or spa. These high temperatures are too hot for any pet and they can quickly overheat. Dogs and cats do not sweat like we do and their panting will not be enough to remove the excess heat from their bodies.
These are just a few of many pet safety tips to keep in mind this summer. Our pets are a part of our families and keeping them safe is a priority. Playing in the water with your pet can be fun and safe at the same time!
Parents' Top 5 Swimming Safety Mistakes
from WakeMed Voices, by Courtney Mann, MD, is Medical Director of WakeMed Children’s Emergency Department.
The dangers of a pool cannot be underestimated for children. And, this danger necessitates a whole new level of adult supervision, because a child can drown in the pool as quickly as they can dart out in front of a car at a busy intersection. Working in the Children's Emergency Department for so many years has clued me into a few issues that, if avoided, could greatly decrease the number of families impacted by drowning or close-calls.
1. Watching Multiple Children
Pools are especially dangerous when parents are trying to watch multiple children at a time. You only have one set of eyes, so there is no way to keep an eye on multiple children at a time. Make sure that children that can't swim, or do not swim well, wear an approved life jacket. And, utilize the touch rule when taking your children to the pool by always being within arm's reach.
2. Overestimating Your Child's Ability to Swim
One of the biggest mistakes I see parents make is overestimating their child's ability to swim. A child may be able to keep their head above water, but if they aspirate water or panic when someone swims over them in a crowded pool, they could still be in serious trouble quite quickly. It is always better to be safe than sorry.
3. Who is Watching the Children?
Make sure mom, dad or other guardian is well aware of who is watching the children. Mom can get to talking poolside without realizing that a child is in trouble. Mom, dad and kids may all attend the annual 4th of July pool party, and mom assumes dad is watching the kids while dad assumes mom has her eyes on them at all times. Talk about who is responsible for watching the children, and if you want to take turns, pass off an index card between the two of you so you always know who is responsible. And, whoever is responsible should always be paying attention.
4. Be Aware of Surroundings
Every year you hear about children who wander into a backyard pool and drown. Many of these drownings occur in a neighbor's pools or at a house where the child is visiting. Make sure you know if there is a pool in the backyard or in the neighbor's backyard before you leave your child anywhere. Talk to your child's caretaker about the special precautions they must take to ensure your child is safe in the presence of the pool. Explain that the pool is like having a busy intersection nearby and that children need to be watched closely at all times.
5. Avoid Alcohol and Sleep Deprivation
Alcohol and sleep deprivation are contributing factors to drowning because they all impair your ability to swim and slow your reaction time. All of these elements also impair your ability to supervise swimming. Avoid the pool if you are under the influence of alcohol or are sleep deprived.
Pools, although very fun, can also be very dangerous, and underestimating this danger can be deadly-especially for children. Drowning is the leading cause of unintentional death in children 1-4 and is listed among the top 3 leading causes of death in children up to 18 years of age. Be safe this summer by swimming smart.
May is National Water Safety Month!
In recognition of the popularity of swimming and other water-related recreational activities in the United States, and the resulting need for ongoing public education on safer water practices, the month of May is National Water Safety Month!
National Water Safety month will be celebrated through educational programs, public service announcements, governmental proclamations, dealer and business promotions and the distribution of water-safety themed materials, aimed primarily at the public.
When you promote water safety and fun, customers remember you care! Participate in National Water Safety Month and give your customers the information that they need to stay safe.
Visit NationalWaterSafetyMonth.org for more information about how you can promote water safety all year long.
The Safe Swimmer's Pledge
Take the Safe Swimmer Pledge, then download the I'm a Safe Swimmer Certificate.
1. I pledge to never swim alone
2. I pledge to never play or swim near drains or suction fittings
3. I pledge to always dive feet first
4. I pledge to obey the pool rules
I'm a Safe Swimmer!
About I'm a Safe Swimmer!
Take the Safe Swimmer Pledge for National Water Safety Month and upload a picture of yourself wearing our Safe Swimmer Badge!
The Safe Swimmer Pledge:
1. I pledge to never swim alone
2. I pledge to never play or swim near drains or suction fittings
3. I pledge to always dive feet first
4. I pledge to obey the pool rules
Follow these safety tips and play safe in the water this summer!
For more information, visit www.watersafetymonth.org and the APSP Water Safety page.
Safety Steps for Kids and Parents
Although swimming pools and spas are alot of fun, they can be dangerous places if you don't pool safely. This game shows kids and parents the best ways to remain safe around the swimming pool, and to prevent accidents and drownings.