With Memorial Day behind us, most – if not all – community swimming pools are up and open for business. And as exciting as this may be for you and your family, there are some things you need to do to ensure your safety and help ensure the safety of everyone around you.
First, don’t make the chlorine do all the work! Before you get into a public swimming pool, you really ought to take a shower, or at least rinse yourself really well. Showers help reduce the risk of waterborne illnesses, such as diarrhea, swimmer’s ear and skin infections.
A thorough shower with soap helps remove perspiration, body oils, cosmetics and traces of urine and fecal matter on the body. Sending those substances down the shower drain goes a long way toward reducing the “yuck factor” for everyone who shares the pool.
Children who are not fully potty-trained need to wear swim diapers. “Accidents” from diapered children pose a risk of contamination. To minimize this risk, parents must wash children thoroughly, front and back, with soap and water, and make sure a clean, form-fitting “swim diaper” is worn by the child at all times. Just remember that swim diapers are not leak proof.
However, according to the CDC, no swim diaper holds fecal material beyond three to five minutes. One way to help maximize the efficiency of a swim diaper is to do a double diaper, where the child wears a non-disposable diaper or rubber training pants OVER the swim diaper.
Because this is just the tip of the ice burg when it comes to staying safe in public pools, next week we’ll discuss some other safety tips.