Swim Safely All Summer

For many families, backyard fun in the sun involves the swimming pool. Experts recommend setting the stage for swimming safety before a single bathing suit ever gets wet.

“Swimming pool safety should be on the minds of every parent,” said Emily Piercefield with the Healthy Swimming Program at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). “Reinforcing safe swimming practices with kids is the best way to make them second nature—like wearing seat belts.”

Here are some simple poolside health and safety tips:

  • Keep Swimmer’s Ear at Bay – To ward off swimmer’s ear, only swim in properly maintained pools, keep ears as dry as possible with a bathing cap or earplugs, and dry ears thoroughly with a towel after swimming.
  • Check for Healthy/Safe Water Levels – Swimming pools can be unhealthy if pool water is contaminated. The CDC recommends testing your pool’s water. Products such as Pool and Spa Test Strips can be used to test pool water at least three times a week for active sanitizer (chlorine, bromine, other), pH, total alkalinity and other water conditions if the pool is not being used. If use of the pool increases, test more often.
    • Simply dip a test strip into your pool or spa, then compare it to the color chart on the product’s label. You’ll know immediately how safe and clean your pool water is and what chemical adjustments are needed to ensure continued cleanliness. Public pool users can also pack water test strips in their pool bag to check that the water is safe for swimming.
  • Keep Poolside Areas Clutter-Free – To prevent accidents such as slipping and falling into or around pools, make it a point to pack up pool toys and supplies that are not in use.
  • Put Up Protective Barriers – Learn what types of enclosures, such as self-latching fences or gates, should be used to keep kids from entering your pool while unattended.
  • Set Pool Parameters – Establish guidelines for kids and visitors. Talk to kids about swimming only when an adult is present and never going to the bathroom while in a pool. Make sure all pool patrons understand the dangers of running, jumping and diving into and around pools.

This article is provided courtesy of the North American Precis Syndicate.

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