Pool Sanitation and Safety Practices for Safe Swimming


With temperatures and heat indices soaring, a dip in the pool is a great way to cool off. However, those pools can spread disease if not maintained and attended properly.

“Before you go swimming, visit our website and look up inspection reports for the pools in Hamilton County for which we have responsibility.”

“It’s like clockwork in that every year when the temperatures start to rise, we see a corresponding increase in illness caused by water-borne pathogens,” says Hamilton County Health Commissioner Tim Ingram.  “Knowledge of good sanitation practices and a little common sense goes a long way toward reducing uncomfortable and sometimes dangerous illness.”

Many of the diseases in pool water come from fecal accidents and/or a lack of good sanitation practices.  It’s important to follow these steps to prevent pool contamination:

• Don’t swim when you have diarrhea. This is especially important for kids in diapers. You can spread germs in the water and make other people sick.

• Don’t swallow the pool water. In fact, avoid getting water in your mouth.

• Please practice good hygiene. Take a shower before swimming and wash your hands after using the toilet or changing diapers. Germs on your body end up in the water.

• Take children on frequent bathroom breaks and check diapers often. Waiting to hear “I have to go” may mean that it’s too late.

• Change diapers in a bathroom and not at poolside. Germs can spread to surfaces and objects in and around the pool and spread illness.

• If you notice an accident in the pool, leave the pool and notify pool authorities immediately.

“It’s also crucial to maintain safe swimming practices,” Ingram adds.  “Drowning and other avoidable accidents are all too common this time of year.”  Safe swim practices include:

• Don’t swim alone.

• Make sure children are capable swimmers and are supervised at all times.

• Take CPR and first aid classes.

• Keep away from drain covers and outlet pipes.

• Ensure sunscreen is applied to prevent sunburn.

• Keep glass bottles away from pool areas.

• Don’t dive into shallow water.

• Have the following items available:

• Flotation device and / or shepherd’s crook;

• Phone to call 911;

• First aid kit.

“Before you go swimming, visit our website and look up inspection reports for the pools in Hamilton County for which we have responsibility,” Ingram says.  “A little prevention and precaution can ensure that your cool dip is as enjoyable as it’s supposed to be.”  Inspection reports for pools can be viewed at www.hcph.org.

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