How Safe is a Public Pool?

How Safe is a Public Pool?
A public pool is a great addition to any community. However, it can also be a dangerous place.  At Pool Fence DIY, we want you to always be armed with the safety tips you need for a fun and safe time by the water.  Today, let’s review public pool safety with this go-to guide on what you can do to help ensure your child’s wellbeing.

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, about 300 children under the age of five drown in pools and spas each year and more than 3,200 children are hospitalized due to pool-and-spa-related injuries. The bottom line is that you shouldn’t rely on anyone else to make sure that your child is safe, or that the pool they’re swimming in is up-to-code.

Let’s take a closer look.

Keep a Close Eye

Public pools can give a lot of us a false sense of safety. It may seem unlikely for a drowning or injured child to go unnoticed in such a public place.  Unfortunately, this simply isn’t true. The truth is that you should never rely on anyone to look after your child except for you or someone who has specifically agreed to supervise them.

Above all, it is important not to multi-task.  If you are watching your child while they are in the pool, they should be your only focus. It may be tempting to use your phone, sunbathe or chat with a neighbor. However, you should never leave your child unsupervised or unattended.  Drowning is usually quick and quiet. As another vital precaution, never swim in a public pool unless a lifeguard is on duty. In addition, be sure that life-saving equipment is always within reach.

Prepare Ahead

Before heading to a community pool, make sure that everyone knows how to swim. Not only should your child be trained with proper swimming lessons, so should those who are supervising them.  Inexperienced swimmers should wear a Coast Guard-approved life vest and should only enter a designated shallow water area.

Learning the basics of CPR is another vital way to help ensure your child’s safety. CPR can mean the difference between life and death.  This life-saving course is affordable, accessible, and offered throughout the country by the American Red Cross.

What's in the Water?

Many people don’t realize how personal hygiene can affect the cleanliness of the water at a public pool. When a swimmer doesn’t shower prior to their dip, contaminants like sweat, urine and fecal matter can enter the water. This means that chlorine is unable to do its job of breaking down other germs. This is why it is also advisable that you stay away from the pool if you are sick. It is easy to catch and spread these germs at a public pool. This is also why it's never a good idea to drink the water! With all those germs swimming around with you, you can never be sure what you are ingesting. Make sure the chorine levels can kill these germs by testing the water with a four-way test strip. Another way to determine proper chlorine levels is with your sense of smell. Hygienic pools should have little to no chemical smell. 

How Safe is Your Public Pool?

You can’t control the way your public pool is operated, but you can check the safety of that pool and control whether or not you and your family swim there.  Many local health departments inspect and score community swimming areas. Public records of these scores are available online.  Check with your county or state department to learn more. While this may seem like an unnecessary step, consider this: according to the CDC, one in eight inspections have health or safety violations so severe that the pool was immediately closed.

You can never be too safe when it comes to the safety of your child. By taking these simple steps of caution, you can help to guarantee a safe and fun family outing!