Taking your tots to the local swimming hole may not be as exciting as the one that set the seen for the love affair between Kate Winslet and Patrick Wilson in Little Children, but afternoons of Marco Polo and creative diving board tricks will keep you interested. Though lifeguards and management companies are responsible for public pools’ cleanliness and safety, there are several precautions families should take to ensure a great experience.
Before entering a public pool, parents should:
- Look to see that the pool water is clean and clear. If you can’t see the bottom drain, the pool is not clean enough to enter.
- Make sure the drain covers comply to the new VGB Act. The new covers should have either a domed shape or large grates to prevent swimmers from being entrapped under water.
- Ensure that the pool staff have updated certifications in CPR and First Aid.
- Keep sick children out of the pool. Even with a swim diaper, tykes with diarrhea can spread waterborne, disease- causing germs such as Cryptosporidium (Crypto).
For tips once your tot has entered the pool,
Upon entering the pool, parents should:
- Watch their own children. Don’t rely on the lifeguards to watch your children for you.
- Keep children within arms length when in the water.
- Encourage lil ones to avoid swallowing pool water. Kids only need to swallow 10 particles of Crypto to get sick.
- Take frequent bathroom and diaper check breaks to avoid accidents.
- Change diapers in bathrooms, not poolside and wash their hands with soap before reentering the pool.
- Reapply sunscreen often as children can still get sunburned while playing in the water.
- Comply with lifeguard-instructed adult swim breaks, they are designed to give kiddos a rest.