Prevent Injuries From Swimming Pool Chemicals

Ruzanna Harutyunyan's picture

The upcoming Memorial Day weekend marks the start of the summer swim season and is a good time to learn how to protect yourself from injuries associated with pool chemicals.

Every year, thousands of visits to emergency rooms occur because of misuse of swimming pool chemicals, according to the Department of Health and Human Services.

“Pool chemicals make the water where we swim safer by protecting us from germs, but those same chemicals can cause injuries if not handled properly,” said Dr. Joann Schaefer, Chief Medical Officer and Director of the Division of Public Health.

Public pool operators and residential pool owners can prevent injuries associated with pool chemicals and protect themselves and swimmers by taking these key steps:

* Always keep pool chemicals secure and out of reach of children and animals;

* Always read product name and manufacturer’s directions before each use;

* Always use appropriate safety glasses and gloves when handling pool chemicals; and


* Never mix chlorine products with each other, acid, or other substances.

Even the best-maintained pools can spread germs, and the best way to prevent recreational water illnesses is to keep germs out of the pool in the first place.

“Chlorine kills germs but it doesn’t work right away. Some germs, like “Crypto,” can live in pools for days,” said Dr. Schaefer. “Remember, you share the water with everyone. Germs on your body end up in the water, so practice good hygiene.”

* Don’t swallow pool water, and avoid getting it in your mouth whenever possible.

* Shower with soap before swimming.

* Take your children on bathroom breaks and check diapers often.

* Wash your hands after using the toilet or changing diapers.

* Wash children thoroughly (especially the diaper area) with soap and water before they go swimming.