When the heat strikes, families flock to the pool to delight in summertime fun. Some do it as a yearly tradition, and others live for the joy of seeing their young children experiencing the pool for the first time. Wading pools are perfect for toddlers and small children as they feature shallow water that is much easier for kids their size to enjoy. Also referred to as the “kiddie pool,” the small pool allows children to discover an activity that can lead to a love of the water over time. Unfortunately, these pools aren’t as harmless as they may seem. Grand Slam Pools Naples Fl offers their cleaning and maintenance services for “kiddie pools”, too.
Overlooked Dangers of Kiddie Pools
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, of all of the pools that were closed in 2013 due to significant safety hazards and health violations, kiddie pools came out on top. Babies and toddlers present unique challenges to the quality of a pool’s water. At this age, children are much more likely to succumb to gastrointestinal illness. Their lack of potty training or insufficient hygiene abilities makes them more likely to contaminate the water for others. Also, even those in diapers present the problem of leakage into the water, and the CDC reports that as much as 10 grams of fecal matter can be transmitted from a child’s perianal region to the pool. Other young children are prone to accidentally or intentionally taste or drink pool water, so such factors present significant chance for further illness.
In pools and other facilities, halogenation through use of chlorine or bromine is the main protection used to combat the transmission of infectious pathogens. Maintaining a proper pool pH ensures this system is able to incapacitate these pathogens. If the concentration of disinfectant is inadequate or the pH is off, this poses risk for the spread of illness. These problems are frequently documented in wading pools, and their shallow depths make it easier for the sun’s UV rays to deplete halogens. Without proper storage, labeling and monitoring of pool chemicals, the risk for chemical-associated harm is also present.
Hazards can also occur with the temperature of the water. In settings where the temperature may be too high, sitting in the water for long periods can mimic a fever. This poses risks for hyperthermia in young children as they are yet to develop the full ability to regulate body temperature. For babies, this is even more dangerous as they are even less likely to be able to regulate their temperature due to having a small body mass relative to their total surface area.
Physical safety of the pool structure is also important, and maintaining fencing, gates, walls and doors is essential to minimize the risk of drowning. Safety equipment such as bars and rings is also a priority. According to the CDC, violations of such safety structures occur in as many as 16 percent of routine pool inspections. Enclosures such as fences and walls must be maintained at all times, and routine checks of such structures are necessary as well as quality repairs. Newly-constructed pools should have 6-foot fences to minimize the chances of climbing over for small children.
How to Keep Children Safe in the Pool
Playing in the pool is an important activity to allow small children to become acclimated to the environment. Taking the right steps to manage the risks involved will allow kids and parents to better reap the full benefits of such an enjoyable activity.
- Keep children away from the pool if sick and experiencing diarrhea or other gastrointestinal distress.
- If using swimming diapers, change them frequently in the proper facility. Ask or take newly potty-trained children to the bathroom frequently.
- Stress how important it is for children to avoid drinking or tasting pool water.
- Check the quality of the water before allowing your child to enter. You can use your own testing kit to get a reading of the chlorine levels and pH.
If you want to keep your kids safe in the pool this summer, you need to maintain cleanliness as well as pH and chemical safety. Keeping up with this on your own can be a challenging task, so rely on the professionals at Grand Slam Pools for excellent pool cleaning services. Whether you need chemical treatment, debris removal or anything in-between, Grand Slam Pools can cover you and allow you to enjoy the time you spend with your young ones in the water.