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Prevent pool chemical injuries

Most pool chemical injuries are preventable.
Most pool chemical injuries are preventable.

Summer is almost here and that means fun in the sun and pool for millions of kids and parents. While most water adventures go on without any problems, every year over 5000 people visit emergency rooms due to pool chemical injuries, according to the CDC. Of these preventable injuries, almost half were to children and teens.

Pool chemicals should never be handled by children or teens. They should never be exposed to them at all. Chemicals of all kinds should be handled only by adults with the maturity and common sense to know how to properly protect themselves from dangerous exposure with protective clothing and equipment. Adults also need to use caution, read labels carefully, and follow all use and storage instructions.

“Chemicals are added to the water in pools to stop germs from spreading. But they need to be handled and stored safely to avoid serious injuries,” said Michele Hlavsa, chief of CDC’s Healthy Swimming Program. About one third of pool chemical injuries happen at home. These are totally preventable when adults act responsibly with home pool items and accessories.

According to the CDC, residential pool owners and public pool operators can follow these simple and effective steps to prevent pool chemical injuries:

• Read and follow directions on product labels.

• Wear appropriate safety equipment, such as goggles and masks, as directed, when handling pool chemicals.

• Secure pool chemicals to protect people and animals.

• Keep young children away when handling chemicals.

• NEVER mix different pool chemicals with each other, especially chlorine products with acid.

• Pre-dissolve pool chemicals ONLY when directed by product label.

• Add pool chemical to water, NEVER water to pool chemicals.

Once pool chemicals are added to a pool, people and animals should remain out of the water to allow the chemicals time to work and kill off germs. This may take a few minutes or a few hours depending on the chemical and the degree of pool contamination. Pool owners should also make sure no swimmer uses the pool as a toilet.

Professional pool service companies may be a good option for people who do not want to be exposed to the danger and fuss of pool care. Check for reputable companies through the Better Business Bureau or recommendations from friends who have sparkly clean pools.

Go here for more healthy swimming tips.

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