Tips for Keeping Your Pool Clean When Babies Are Around
When it comes to young children and swimming, a parent’s first job when it comes to pool safety is to make sure that their children are closely supervised at all times. It’s also great to make sure that children are always wearing appropriate safety gear such as floaties or a life jacket at all times and that they learn to swim as early as possible.
However, children can also be affected by dirty pool water which can easily become contaminated and cause serious illnesses when left unchecked. Recreational water illness is a potentially serious issue, and one that parents of young children who are in the pool with swim diapers should learn more about.
Harmful Swimming Pool Germs
RWI (recreational water illness) is a serious condition caused by germs harboring in the water. Many of these germs including E. coli, Crypto and Shigella are serious contaminants that are easy to obtain simply by swallowing water in a pool, ocean, lake or river. These types of contaminants are found in water that contains fecal matter.
So exactly how can a pool become contaminated? If you’ve ever seen a parent changing a dirty swim diaper of a young child, you can probably guess at least one way that RWI is spread. However, anyone experiencing diarrhea can also contaminate the pool water, and any individual that ingests the water can potentially become quite sick.
As devastating as the problem is, the germs can be killed by maintaining the swim pool water with proper levels of chlorine. Click here to read how to properly test your pool water. Keeping your pool chemicals in balance can significantly reduce and/or eliminate RWIs however, the process is not immediate. To properly kill off these recreational water illness contaminants requires adding chlorine and allowing it to circulate through the entire system.
There are some specific germs including Crypto that have developed chlorine-resistance and have the ability to live in swimming pools for days at a time. Because of that, it is essential to keep the swimming pool properly maintained in an effort to avoid spreading illness.
There are specific behaviors when around a swimming pool that needs to be performed to ensure that all swimmers are fully protected against RWI contaminants. This will stop any contaminating germs from entering the swimming pool at all.
Essential Health Protection Tips
The tips for keeping the swimming pool clean when young ones and babies are around include:
- Never allow anyone with diarrhea to swim. This tip is essentially crucial for children that wear diapers. It is easy for the diaper to leak, and spill out fecal matter, which can easily make other individuals sick.
- Never swallow water in the pool. It is best to attempt to avoid getting any water inside the mouth.
- Always wash hands with water and soap before leaving the restroom, whether using the facilities, or changing a diaper. Remember that any germ on your body, and the baby’s body, could easily be washed off in the pool water.
- Take bathroom breaks frequently. Never wait until the children are indicating “I need to go.” This is often an indicator that it is already too late, and the child is likely relieving himself in the water.
- Use the restroom for diaper changes. Avoid changing diapers at poolside where it is very easy to spread the germs to a variety of surfaces including chairs, lounges, towels, and other objects that could make their way to the pool water and spread harmful diseases.
- Thoroughly bathe children before swimming. While it might seem counterintuitive to use water and soap before going swimming, you can easily remove any type of fecal matter on the rear end of the children about to enter the pool.
There are lots of good reasons to maintain proper hygiene when using the swimming pool in the backyard. It is very easy for RWI contaminants to live and breed for many days even in pools that are well-maintained. By following the above tips, it is possible to keep the swimming pool clean to avoid contaminating everyone, especially babies, while enjoying a good swim.