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  • Why is Healthy and Safe Swimming Week Important?

    The week before Memorial Day (May 20–26, 2019) is Healthy and Safe Swimming Week. The goal of this awareness week is to maximize the health benefits of swimming by minimizing the risk of illness and injury. Just 2.5 hours of physical activity every week, including water-based physical activity, can benefit everyone’s health. Each of us plays a role in preventing illnesses and injuries linked to the water we swim, play, relax in, and share. Swimming is a fun, healthy way to stay physically active and spend quality time with family and friends. Healthy and Safe Swimming Week highlights the roles that swimmers, parents of young swimmers, aquatics and beach staff, residential pool owners, and public health officials play in preventing disease outbreaks, drowning, and pool chemical injuries.

    Why Is Healthy and Safe Swimming Week Important?

    Injuries caused by mishandling pool chemicals:
    Pool chemicals are added to maintain water quality (for example, to kill germs). Each year, however, mishandling pool chemicals when treating public or residential/backyard pools, hot tubs/spas, and water playgrounds leads to 3,000–5,000 visits to U.S. emergency departments.
    For more info, visit CDCs Pool Chemical Info.

    Illnesses caused by the germs in pools, hot tubs/spas, and water playgrounds:
    During 2000–2014, nearly 500 outbreaks were linked to pools, hot tubs/spas, and water playgrounds. Most of the outbreaks were caused by germs Cryptosporidium (or “Crypto”), Legionella, or Pseudomonas. Healthy swimming is not just about the steps pool operators and pool inspectors take—so let’s all do our part to help keep ourselves, our families, and our friends healthy.
    For more info, visit CDCs Healthy Swimming Info.

    Drowning:
    Each day, two children younger than 14 years old die from drowning. Drowning is a leading cause of death for children 1–4 years old. we want to remind you about drowning prevention. Drowning is the leading cause of accidental injury or death in children under the age of 5. Drowning can be quick and silent. It's a fallacy that the act of drowning is accompanies by screams or splashing, making proactive prevention crucial. To help prevent drownings, please remember to have active adult supervision, never swim alone, make sure your pool is fenced with self-closing/latching gates, and most of all keep a Pool / Lifeguard First Aid Kit on hand.
    For more info, visit CDCs Water Injuries Info.

    Harmful algal blooms:
    Algae can grow in warm, nutrient-rich fresh- and marine water. An abundant growth of algae that harms people or animals is referred to as a harmful algal bloom (HAB). HABs in fresh- and marine water can produce toxins that cause a variety of symptoms including skin irritation, coughing, sneezing, diarrhea, stomach pain, numbness, and dizziness. Symptoms vary depending on the type of HAB toxin and the type of exposure, such as skin contact, ingestion by eating food or drinking water contaminated with HAB toxins, or breathing in tiny droplets or mist contaminated with HAB toxins.
    For more info, visit CDCs HAB Toxin Info

    Naegleria fowleri “the brain-eating ameba”:
    Naegleria fowleri is a microscopic ameba (a singlecelled living organism) that is commonly found in warm freshwater such as in lakes, rivers, and hot springs. If water containing the ameba goes up the nose forcefully, the ameba can invade and cause a rare and devastating infection of the brain called primary amebic meningoencephalitis (PAM).
    For more info, visit CDCs Naegleria Info

  • Swim Safety: The Overlooked Dangers of Over Chlorinated Pools

    While Swim Safety Week is not until May, Spring weather is here and kids of all ages are jumping in  the pool. The country’s warmest states are fully defrosted from winter as the summer sun begins to peek through March’s clouds. Arizona, California and Florida seem to skip spring, heading straight into swim season, already seeing an increase in visitors to public pools to keep cool. It's never too early to consider swimming safety.

    THE URGENT FIRST AID™ SWIMMING POOL & LIFEGUARD FIRST AID KIT - METAL

    Tragically, a young Florida boy was recently hospitalized after swimming in a pool. Persistent and painful coughing and vomiting, his parents called for emergency services. After attending to the child, they found the apartment complex’s pool was over chlorinated.

    Florida continuously ranks amongst the nation’s highest pool accidents and deaths, according to Daytona Beach accident attorney, Corey Bundza, whose firm sees an increase in pool accidents beginning this time of year. He is working to bring awareness to pool safety tips that are commonly overlooked by the state filled with swimming lovers.

    There are countless articles on swimming safety and lifeguard tips, but are you aware of pool chlorine safety? It’s a necessary chemical for pools, the only exception being salt water pools, but too little and too much can create an unhealthy environment.

    Our Chemical Necessity
    Chlorine is the chemical used in pools to rid water of E.Coli, parasites, and other harmful bacteria through a fairly simple chemical reaction. But in science, simple doesn’t always translate to speedy- chlorine takes time to work.

    Without chlorine, water-inhabiting bacteria would make most public pools a dangerous pastime where primal people dared to become entangled with deadly microorganisms. But chlorine must be maintained properly, monitored by a pH scale. Sparing the nitty gritty details, there is a safe range for pH levels - between 7.2 and 7.8, equivalent with that of a swimmer’s body- and illnesses can begin if the levels drop below or rise above. When pH levels go above the recommended guidelines aka over chlorinated pools, pool chlorine disinfection will begin.

    Sunlight, debris, dirt and many other things from a swimmers’ body can reduce a pool’s chlorine levels. So it’s important they are routinely measured by someone who understands pH levels and how long chlorine takes to go into effect.

    Symptoms of Over Chlorinated Pools
    While a little pool water landing in a swimmer’s mouth from the big kid’s cannonball or from the youngin' practicing holding their breath is generally harmless, kids can become sick from swallowing too much chlorinated water. This is enhanced, of course, when the water is over chlorinated leading to chlorine poisoning or so-called recreational water illness (RWI).

    RWI can include a wide variety of symptoms. Within the first 72 hours, swimmers falling sick with RWI may exhibit these symptoms:
    - Upset stomach and vomiting
    - Intense and persistent coughing
    - Trouble breathing
    - Fatigue

    It’s imperative parent’s understand these are initial symptoms of RWI, as they are, understandably, often mistaken for the common flu or food poisoning. If a child swam in the past three days and begins exhibiting these symptoms, it’s important to notify the child’s physician. As time progresses, symptoms progress to diarrhea; abdominal pain; swelling, burning, and infections of the eye, nose, ears, and throat.

    Over and under chlorinated pools also share some immediate effects: redness and irritation in the eyes, nose, mouth and ears. Parent’s can examine their children for these symptoms once their finished swimming for the day.

    If no immediate irritation is present, medical emergency personal offer the following advice:
    Listen for a nagging cough after swimming. If the cough doesn’t go away, this could be a sign they swallowed too much water or inhaled it.
    Be on alert for flu-like symptoms. If the child was swimming recently, advise your doctor so they can check for RWI.

    In the past twenty years, America has seen a sharp increase in the number or RWI outbreaks, according to the CDC, growing from just over 3,000 cases in 2004 to almost 11,000 by 2008. And in 2010, one in eight public pool inspections resulted in immediate closure of due to serious code violations like improper chlorine levels.

    Know the symptoms of RWIs, chlorine poisoning, and stay safe and cool in the pool.

    For more information on general pool and warm weather safety, check out this article from Safety.com. Or these helpful posts:

    It's never too early to consider swimming safety.

    Splish Splash: Spring Swimming Pool Safety

    Links for Healthy and Safe Swimming Information and Resources

    Swimming and Drowning concerns at the Pool & Beyond

    Avoiding Injuries in and around Swimming Pools

    Contributing Author Jen Mur writes in conjunction with a consumer safety organization and the attorneys of Bundza & Rodriguez.

  • Pool Safety and Pool Safely

    As we draw toward the end of Spring focus on Swimming Pool Safety and the closure of Healthy and Safe Swimming Week, we want to remind you of another great free government source of Swimming Pool Safety information...

    poolsafelyPoolsafely.gov -
    The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risks of injury or death from thousands of types of consumer products under the agency’s jurisdiction. In addition to Pool and Spa Safety, the CPSC is committed to protecting consumers and families from products that pose a fire, electrical, chemical, or mechanical hazard.

    Swimming Pool & Lifeguard First Aid Kit - Metal with gasket for weather resistance and CPR included Swimming Pool & Lifeguard First Aid Kit - Metal with gasket for weather resistance and CPR included
    Learn how simple safety steps save lives in and around pools and spas.

    Simple Steps Save Lives imageParents and families can build on their current safety systems at pools and spas by adopting additional water safety steps. Adding as many proven water safety steps as possible is the best way to assure a safe and fun experience, because you can never know which one might save a child’s life—until it does.

    • Never leave a child unattended in a pool or spa and always watch your child when he or she is in or near water
    • Teach children basic water safety tips
    • Keep children away from pool drains, pipes and other openings to avoid entrapments
    • Have a telephone close by when you or your family is using a pool or spa
    • If a child is missing, look for him or her in the pool or spa first
    • Share safety instructions with family, friends and neighbors
    • Learn how to swim and teach your child how to swim
    • Learn to perform CPR on children and adults, and update those skills regularly
    • Understand the basics of life-saving so that you can assist in a pool emergency
    • Install a four-foot or taller fence around the pool and spa and use self-closing and self-latching gates; ask your neighbors to do the same at their pools.
    • Install and use a lockable safety cover on your spa.
    • If your house serves as a fourth side of a fence around a pool, install door alarms and always use them. For additional protection, install window guards on windows facing pools or spas.
    • Install pool and gate alarms to alert you when children go near the water
    • Ensure any pool and spa you use has compliant drain covers, and ask your pool service provider if you do not know
    • Maintain pool and spa covers in good working order
    • Consider using a surface wave or underwater alarm
  • Links for Healthy and Safe Swimming Information and Resources

    pool-kidIn order to  be safe around pools, you should use all the resources made available. During Healthy and Safe Swimming Week, we want to remind you that although there are many commercial sources of poll safety equipment,  bu there are also a host of free materials and information online from government and other providers.

    See the below sites for more information than one could possibly get through or disseminate in a week's time!splash2

    General Information
    Healthy Swimming Site www.cdc.gov/healthywater/swimming
    Healthy and Safe Swimming Week www.cdc.gov/healthywater/observances/hss-week/index.html
    Safe Swimming Links www.cdc.gov/healthywater/swimming/injury/index.html
    CPSC’s Pool Safely www.poolsafely.gov/pool-spa-safety-act/
    Prevention Resources
    Swimmer Protection Links www.cdc.gov/healthywater/swimming/protection/index.html
    Health Swimming Materials www.cdc.gov/healthywater/swimming/resources
    Healthy Swimming Brochure NEW www.cdc.gov/healthywater/swimming/resources/brochures.htmlPrinted brochures will be available for FREE in Spring 2015
    Missy Franklin Swims Healthy NEW www.cdc.gov/features/swimming-missy-franklin/
    Swim Diapers/Swim Pants www.cdc.gov/healthywater/swimming/protection/swim-diapers-swim-pants.html
    Breastfeeding in Pools and Hot Tubs/Spas www.cdc.gov/healthywater/swimming/protection/breastfeeding-in-pools.html
    Resources for Public Health Professionals
    Healthy Swimming Data/Statistics www.cdc.gov/healthywater/swimming/data/
    MMWR Outbreak Summary Reports www.cdc.gov/healthywater/surveillance/rec-water-surveillance-reports.htmlReport on 2011–2012 outbreaks to be published May 2015
    Online Environmental Public Health Course www.cdc.gov/nceh/ehs/eLearn/EPHOC.htm(See Swimming Pools and Recreational Facilities)
    Model Aquatic Health Code (MAHC) NEW www.cdc.gov/mahc1st edition now available
    Conference for the MAHC (CMAHC) NEW www.cmahc.orgBecome a CMAHC member today to be eligible to vote on MAHC changes and help ensure that public health’s voice is heard!
    Resources for Aquatic-Facility Operators
    Fecal Incident Response Recommendations www.cdc.gov/healthywater/pdf/swimming/pools/fecal-incident-response-recommendations.pdf
    Pool Chemical Safety www.cdc.gov/healthywater/swimming/pools/preventing-pool-chemical-injuries.html
    Animals and Pools www.cdc.gov/healthywater/swimming/pools/animals/
    Open Water Resources
    EPA’s Beaches Website http://water.epa.gov/type/oceb/beaches/index.cfm
    General Info: Oceans, Lakes, Rivers www.cdc.gov/healthywater/swimming/oceans/
    Harmful Algal Blooms www.cdc.gov/nceh/hsb/hab/www.cdc.gov/healthcommunication/toolstemplates/entertainmented/tips/algalblooms.html

    www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm6301a3.htm?s_cid=mm6301a3_w

    Healthy Swimming Links by Additional Audiences
    Medical Professionals www.cdc.gov/healthywater/swimming/audience-medicalprofessionals.html
    En Español www.cdc.gov/healthywater/swimming/audience-espanol.html
  • An AED near the Pool is a Safe Bet.

    Make a Splash for Pool Safety during Healthy and Safe Swimming Week

    AEDDoes your Community Pool have an AED?

    AEDs (Automated External Defibrillators) save lives. Many think that AEDs can't be used around water, and that's not true. You simply do not want a victim to be lying in a pool of standing water. But CPR alone rarely resuscitates a casualty and AEDs are a vital part of the Chain of survival.

    You can Buy an AED, Get a Free AED through Fundraising, or apply for an AED Grant for assistance purchasing.

    Safe swimming brochure

    Order your FREE Healthy Swimming brochures

  • Healthy and Safe Swimming Week 2015

    Swimming Pool Safety is a concern for all parents. Of course your have your Swimming Pool First Aid Kit, you've learned CPR.. but what else?

    Here are some more tip from the CDC for Healthy and Safe Swimming Week 2015

    Swimming Pool & Lifeguard First Aid Kit - Metal with gasket for weather resistance and CPR included Swimming Pool & Lifeguard First Aid Kit - Metal with gasket for weather resistance and CPR included

    Keep the pee, poop, sweat, and germs out of the water!

    • Stay out of the water if you have diarrhea.
    • Shower before you get in the water.
    • Don't pee or poop in the water.
    • Don't swallow the water.

    Every hour—everyone out!

    • Take kids on bathroom breaks.
    • Check diapers, and change them in a bathroom or diaper-changing area—not poolside—to keep germs away from the pool.
    • Reapply sunscreen.
    • Drink plenty of fluids.
    Order your FREE pool chemical test strips today.

    Check the free chlorine level and pH before getting into the water.

    • Pools: Proper free chlorine level (1–3 mg/L or parts per million [ppm]) and pH (7.2–7.8) levels maximize germ-killing power.
    • Hot tubs/spas: Proper disinfectant level (chlorine [2–4 parts per million or ppm] or bromine [4–6 ppm]) and pH (7.2–7.8) maximize germ-killing power.
    • Most superstores, hardware stores, and pool-supply stores sell pool test strips.

    FREE Healthy and Safe Swimming Resources

    Remember: Think Healthy. Swim Healthy. Be Healthy!

  • Make a Healthy Splash: Share the Fun, not the Germs

    baby ruthEach year, Healthy and Safe Swimming Week focuses on simple steps swimmers and pool operators can take to help ensure a healthy and safe swimming experience for everyone. The theme for Healthy and Safe Swimming Week 2015 is Make a Healthy Splash: Share the Fun, not the Germs. 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. It highlights swimmer hygiene and the need for swimmers to take an active role in helping to protect themselves and prevent the spread of germs.

    Healthy and Safe Swimming Week 2015 will take place May 18-24, 2015

    Did you know?

    Ewwwww....POO ?Learn more!

     

  • Healthy and Safe Swimming Week

    Spring means swimming - swimming means fun and sun, but also injuries and illness if you aren't careful.

    Healthy and Safe Swimming Week Is May 18-24

    During Healthy and Safe Swimming Week (previously known as the cumbersome Recreational Water Illness and Injury  Prevention Week / RWII) we will be sharing ideas for health and safety in and around the pool.

    Before we go forward, let's go back and share some really helpful swimming pool safety information from previous articles:

    splash

  • Drowning Safety: Children at Risk

    In the past 2 days, a half dozen Children have nearly drown in San Diego County Alone, according to Rady Childrens' Hospital.

    That may seem like a lot, but with the summer heat more are likely to come.

    image of CPR kit Infant CPR Anytime is an “all-in-one” learning kit that teaches the basic skills of Infant CPR, Infant choking relief and calling for help in approximately 20 minutes.
    Infant CPR Anytime allows users to learn these life-saving skills anywhere, either in the comfort of their own home or in large group settings.
    The kit teaches CPR using the AHA’s research-proven “practice-while-watching” technique, which allows
    users to watch an instructional DVD while practicing their skills on a personal manikin.
    Infant CPR Anytime is designed to be shared with close family members and friends to help extend lifesaving training to more people. Because more lives can be saved….
    The Infant CPR Anytime kit includes the following:
    · 1 bilingual (English/Spanish) Infant CPR Anytime DVD
    · 1 poly-bagged Mini Baby® CPR personal manikin
    · 1 bilingual (English/Spanish) Infant CPR Anytime skills reminder card
    · 1 Mini Baby replacement lung
    · Manikin wipes

    What can you do? Follow safety measures and learn more!

    According to Channel 7, A one-year old Oceanside baby Monday afternoon as the child nearly drowned in a swimming pool.  It's the sixth near-drowning of a young child in San Diego county in just the last 48-hours.

    San Diego's NBC Affiliate says a 1-year-old who nearly drowned in his Bonsall neighbor’s backyard pool Monday is the sixth “near-drowning” case at Rady Children’s Hospital in two days, hospital officials say.

    The hospital reported five separate cases on Sunday alone. Every case had a common denominator - “It’s a split second. It’s when you take your eye off your child for just a moment’s notice. They’re fast, they’re quick, they love the water and in they go,” said nurse Oseana Bratton.

    Most these children have been saved with CPR and quick thinking.swimming-pool-generic

  • ABC's of Pool Safety

    Pool SafetyPool safety is often overlooked with devastating results – According to the CDC, Children ages 1 to 4 have the highest drowning rates. In 2009, among children 1 to 4 years old who died from an unintentional injury, more than 30% died from drowning.  Among children ages 1 to 4, most drownings occur in home swimming pools. Drowning is responsible for more deaths among children 1-4 than any other cause except congenital anomalies (birth defects). Among those 1-14, fatal drowning remains the second-leading cause of unintentional injury-related death behind motor vehicle crashes. Almost all these swimming pool-related deaths were preventable cases. In order to ensure you keep your family and guests safe from harm, it’s important that you invest the time and effort required to fulfill your responsibilities.

    Official Safety Requirements

    Image of Swimming Pool & Lifeguard First Aid Kit This swimming pool and lifeguard first aid kit has everything you'll need around the pool and more – even a whistle for warnings and calling for help! Use the products in this first aid kit for fun in the sun and around the water - protection and treatment for insect bites, minor cuts, scrapes and eye irritations. In addition, our lifeguard kits provide a CPR one-way valve face shield to protect rescuers from contaminants when performing CPR. Products are contained in a strong metal case with gasket for protection from weather and moisture around the swimming pool

    Each State will have distinct rules and regulations, though on most points they’ll overlap. Check your local government to verify the small print for your area. These are the official requirements set by the  government, meaning that you should see these as the absolute minimum. Wherever possible, go beyond that to ensure you provide the safest possible environment.

    Some local governments require you to register your pool as proof that you have complied with official guidelines. You’ll need to have your pool inspected by a licensed pool safety inspector who has the authority to give you an official certificate as proof of your compliance. It’s important that you make 100% sure that you’re dealing with an agent that’s legitimate, so do your homework!

    Pool Gate and Fencing
    A good starting point for anyone that owns a pool is to have a look at PoolSafely.gov and CPSC - The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risks of injury or death from thousands of types of consumer products under the agency’s jurisdiction. In addition to Pool and Spa Safety, the CPSC is committed to protecting consumers and families from products that pose a fire, electrical, chemical, or mechanical hazard. These go over what’s expected of you as a pool owner. Before investing in any single solution, ensure that it covers each and every point on your checklist.

    Pool fences are required to be 1.2 meters high, be secure and strong in materials used, as well as be self-closing and self-latching. They should be child-resistant, guaranteeing kids are not able to open them on their own. Remember to clear the area immediately surrounding the gate, as plant pots and garden furniture can be used to climb over the fence.

    Barriers are generally required for the following units: in-ground and above-ground pools, indoor swimming pools, Jacuzzis, spas, hot tubs, and wading and bathing pools. Ensure the barriers are all of decent quality – investing in the right materials is not only safer, but will be cheaper in the long-run as maintenance costs will be lower.

    In addition to the initial installation of your fencing, it’s important that you do regular check-ups. Damaged barriers should be looked at straight away – this not only keeps your costs low in the long term, but also ensures your pool area is kept safe at all times. Remember, as the pool owner you’re responsible that your safety barriers are compliant to government guidelines. You must ensure you tick all the boxes to avoid legal issues and hence keep family and guests safe from harm.

    Teach Children How to Swim
    It’s alarming just how many children play in and around pools without actually knowing how to swim! It is recommended children learn how to swim from an early age, preferably through a school or programme where the proper techniques are taught right from the get go.

    Flotation Devices
    Even if your children have some experience in the water, if they’re still young, it’s recommended that flotation devices be used. Mats, rings, vests and wings should conform to the required standard as set by the Coast Guard – don’t buy cheaper units, as they are often faulty or substandard.

    Supervision
    You can invest in the most advanced fencing, have an auto-closing gate, and have the latest gadgetry installed, but proper supervision is paramount. It’s important you remain vigilant at all times, especially if there are young children in the pool.

    CPR Sign and First Aid
    No matter how many precautions we take, accidents still happen. The important thing is to be ready to do what’s necessary, wasting no time if at all possible. Have a clear CPR sign poolside, as well as at least one person who have attended a first aid course.

    Taking the precautionary steps to keep your pool safe isn't just to abide by government guidelines. Remember, the rules are in place for a reason. Keep your family safe by investing in the right equipment, following instructions, and always remaining vigilant. It may sound like a bit of work, but once everything’s in place you’ll run on autopilot.

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