SWIMMING POOL INJURY FROM CHEMICALS CAN BE PREVENTED
Swimming and other water activities are excellent ways to get the exercise and health benefits needed for a healthy life. Americans swim hundreds of millions of times in pools, oceans, lakes, rivers, and hot tubs/spas each year and most people have a safe and healthy time enjoying the water. However, it is important to be aware of ways to prevent recreational water illnesses (RWIs), sunburn, and drowning that can occur. CDC’s Healthy Swimming Program and website, launched in 2001, provides information for the public, public health and medical professionals, and aquatics staff so everyone can maximize the health benefits of swimming while minimizing the risk of illness and injury. See http://www.cdc.gov/healthywater/swimming/
Injuries from swimming pool chemicals led to nearly 5,000 emergency room visits in 2012, according to a study released Thursday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Fortunately, injury from pool chemicals is often minor and easily treated. However depending on the concentration of pool chemicals and the sensitivity of the swimmer, the injury can also be much more serious.
Nearly half of these preventable injuries were in children and teenagers and more than a third occurred at a home. As would be expected, pool chemical injuries were most common during the summer swim season, from Memorial Day to Labor Day, and almost half occurred on weekends.
“Chemicals are added to the water in swimming pools to stop germs from spreading. But they need to be handled and stored safely to avoid serious injuries,” said the chief of CDC’s Healthy Swimming Program.
Residential pool owners and public swimming pool operators can follow these simple and effective steps to prevent pool chemical injuries:
- Read and follow directions on product labels.
- Wear appropriate safety equipment, such as goggles and masks, as directed, when handling pool chemicals.
- Secure pool chemicals to protect people and animals.
- Keep young children away when handling chemicals.
- NEVER mix different pool chemicals with each other, especially chlorine products with acid.
- Pre-dissolve pool chemicals ONLY when directed by product label.
- Add pool chemical to water, NEVER water to pool chemicals.
The study analyzed data from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS). NEISS captures data on injuries related to consumer products from about 100 hospital emergency departments nationwide. The NEISS data can then be used to calculate national estimates.
May 19–25, 2014 is Recreational Water Illness and Injury (RWII) Prevention Week. The theme for RWII Prevention Week 2014 is Healthy and Safe Swimming: We’re in it Together. It focuses on the role of swimmers, aquatics and beach staff, residential pool owners, and public health officials in preventing drowning, pool chemical injuries, and outbreaks of illnesses.
Chlorine and bromine do not kill germs instantly; most are killed within minutes. So it is important that everyone help keep germs out of the water in the first place by not swimming when ill with diarrhea and parents should take their children on bathroom breaks. Also protect yourself by not swallowing pool water.
If you are injured in a swimming pool accident in Minnesota, please call our office and speak with a personal injury lawyer to discuss your case and be advised of your rights.