Swim in Pools? Read This
Pool season kicks off this weekend (yippee!) So it’s helpful to know that drowning prevention guidelines have been updated, and, to confirm the fears of the more germ-aware parents out there, some pools are pretty darn dirty.
Let’s get the gross stuff out of the way. Roughly 12 percent of public pools inspected in 2008 were immediately closed for serious code violations, according to a report released on Friday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The biggest offenders were pools at child care facilities, followed by hotel/motel pools, and then ones at apartments/condos. The CDC recommends we all follow these rules:
- Don’t swim when you have diarrhea.
- Don’t swallow pool water (anyone have tips on how to stop little kids from doing that?! Share your secrets!).
- Bathe with soap and wash your children (especially their bottoms) before swimming.
- Wash your hands after using the bathroom or changing diapers.
- Take your kids on frequent bathroom breaks and/or change diapers often.
- Change diapers in a designated diaper-changing area, not near the pool.
Meanwhile, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) just updated their guidelines to prevent childhood drowning. The highlights:
- All pools should be completely surrounded by fences—even large, inflatable ones.
- Pool owners should install drain covers, safety vacuum-releases systems, and other devices to stop kids’ bodies and hair from getting entrapped in pool drains.
- There may be some benefit to children ages 1 to 4 learning to swim, so the AAP no longer advises against swimming lessons for kids in that age range. (They do not officially recommend it, however, and they have no evidence that infants under 12 months should take swim lessons.)
You’ll find more details on the AAP’s new statement here.
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