First Time Pool Owners: Cooling Down The Dangers

Who doesn't enjoy taking a dip in the crystal clear water of a pool on a steamy summer day? If you are considering purchasing a pool of your very own, you need to be aware of the fact that there are certain risks and responsibilities involved. Luckily, there are many ways to tame some of the dangers so you can enjoy beating back the heat in your brand new pool.

Reducing Drowning and Injuries

Many children love playing in and around the pool. They often splash each other or jump in the water as a means of performing their best belly flop. Children also love to run around the outer edge of the pool. While all of these activities are fun, they pose certain risks to young children. The ground around the pool is often wet, meaning it is a slippery surface that increases the risk of fall-related injuries.

In 2012, approximately 4,000 children under the age of five received treatment in the emergency room for pool-related injuries. Children between one and three years of age received the greatest amount of injuries. To prevent the risk of pool related injuries, consider the installation of an above ground pool rather than an in-ground pool. An above ground pool reduces the risk of slippery surfaces around the perimeter of the pool.

Approximately 390 children drown each year in the pool or spa. Children under the age of five account for 76% of all drowning accidents, with children between one and three accounting for 67% of those deaths. One way to reduce the risk of drowning is to place a safety fence around the pool. Studies show that fencing around your yard is not enough to prevent drowning risks. You need separate isolation fencing around the pool area itself.

Preventing Recreational Water Illnesses

Recreational water illnesses, or RWIs, pose significant risks to people who enjoy swimming. While the threat of RWIs is most prevalent in public pools, failure to maintain your private pool can also lead to the development of RWIs. Although you may treat your pool with the required amount of chlorine, it does not mean that it is safe to swim in immediately. In fact, chlorine does not kill germs right away. It takes minutes to days for the chlorine to take effect. Ingesting even the smallest amount of contaminated water can make you sick.

Common RWIs include:

  • Cryptosporidium (microscopic parasite that causes diarrhea)
  • Giardia (microscopic parasite that causes abdominal cramping, bloating and nausea)
  • Shigella (Bacteria that causes intestinal disease, such as bloody diarrhea)
  • Norovirus (Virus that causes vomiting, diarrhea and stomach cramping)
  • E. coli (Bacteria known to cause diarrhea, urinary tract infections and respiratory illness)

Most RWIs clear up in as little as a few days. However, you should visit your physician if you present symptoms of an RWI. If you or anyone in your family suffers from symptoms of an RWI, contact a professional for assistance in removing bacteria, viruses and parasites.

You will also need to make sure you have the proper pool supplies on hand, so you can regularly clean your pool. Pool supplies include:

  • Pool net
  • Pump
  • Filter
  • Pool vacuum
  • Pool chemicals
  • Water tester

It is a good idea to have water testers on hand so you can check the pH balance of the water. Proper pH levels range from 7.4 to 7.6. Maintaining the pH level of the water allows you to maintain the safety and integrity of your pool. If the water lacks balance, it could lead to corrosion and a buildup of germs.

For help maintaining your pool, contact a pool professional near you. A professional can provide you with more about this topic, as well as the supplies you need to maintain the safety and cleanliness of your pool. Furthermore, a professional can also provide you with routine maintenance and repairs to prevent costly damages and potential illnesses.