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Beware the Public Pool

With the weather warming up, lots of families will soon be heading to the pool.  And if you don’t happen to have one in your backyard, that probably means  that at some point, you will be taking a dip in a public pool.  But according to a new report by the Centers for Disease Control, that refreshing pastime might actually do more than cool you off.  It could make you and your family very sick.

In a report released yesterday, the CDC reveals that one out of every eight public pools inspected in 13 states had to be closed due improper disinfectant procedure and PH levels.  Swimmers in these pools were sharing the water with  gastroenteritis-causing germs that could lead to serious illness.

The worst offenders were pools located in apartment complexes, hotels, motels and child care facilities.  And not surprisingly, of the 121,000 pools inspected, the highest percentage of violations were discovered in the kiddie pools.  Because we all know what happens in the kiddie pools.   Those fun, interactive water fountains kids love to splash around in didn’t fare much better.

If all that hasn’t convinced you to install your own private pool, the CDC has some recommendations that will help ensure your kids aren’t swimming in or spreading disease in public pools this summer:

  • Don’t swim if you have diarrhea.
  • Avoid swallowing pool water.
  • Before swimming, shower with soap and wash your hands.  When washing your kids, pay special attention to their backsides.
  • Check your child’s diaper often and make sure older kids take frequent bathroom breaks.
  • Change diapers away from the pool area.
  • Check the quality of pool water yourself with test strips sold at local stores.

Happy swimming!

Image: havenholidays/Flickr

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