Keep Your Kids Safe From Diseases While Swimming In The Pool
Posted July 2, 2001 3:49 a.m. EDT
RALEIGH — It's summertime and the heat index is rising. Parents give their little ones relief at nearby pools. The neighborhood pool may seem like good, clean fun, but it can make your kids very sick because there are a lot of germs in there.
It is an issue of swimming pool safety no one likes to talk about. All the nasty germs and bacteria that can make you or your family sick with diarrhea, stomach pains and other illnesses.
"The chlorine will kill a lot of things, but we have to take some other preventive measures to help that, because it's an environment where people are sharing the water," says aquatic facilities supervisor Terri Stroupe.
It's as though you are bathing with everybody in your city or town, but experts say parents do not have to panic. The key to safety is to reduce the risk of contamination.
"They need to make sure they're following the health department guidelines for adequate chlorine and Ph readings. Keep them in those acceptable ranges the health department requires," she says.
Pools in Wake County are required to check those levels three times a day as a back-up to an automated chlorine testing system. Some bugs though are highly resistant to chlorine, making it important for people to take precautions.
"I know this is a bad subject, but if they are sick and they have diarrhea, they don't need to be swimming," Stroupe says.
Samantha Swisher's son, Christopher, loves to splash around, but she says she is careful. She makes sure he is not swallowing the water and he is dressed in swim diapers to prevent anything from escaping.
"Some of these kids go to the bathroom in some of the pools, so we just always make sure he's not swallowing it," she says.
According to the
Centers for Disease Control
, parents should change diapers in a bathroom and not at poolside. Germs can spread to surfaces and objects in and around the pool and spread illness.