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Pool Chemicals Send Thousands to ER

Pool Chemicals Send Thousands to ER

They’re meant to enhance summer fun, but if you’re not careful, they could result in a trip to the emergency room. As we close in on Memorial Day weekend, people are preparing swimming pools while the kids are digging out their bathing suits. Somewhere in the vicinity of that pool is a supply of chemicals used to treat the water. These chemicals are used to kill bacteria and control algae, but in the wrong hands, they can be caustic.

Some pool chemicals can burn your skin, eyes, and throat, and can interfere with breathing. Some can be corrosive and some may even be flammable.

Pool chemical injuries caused almost 5,000 visits to emergency rooms in 2012, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). About half involved children or teens, and more than a third happened at home. Half of the incidents took place on weekends between Memorial Day to Labor Day. The thing is, most of these accidents can be easily avoided.

The single best thing you can do to prevent pool chemical injury is to carefully read and follow all label directions. The CDC offers these tips:

1. Follow label directions on all products.

2. Wear safety equipment (goggles masks, gloves) as directed when handling pool chemicals.

3. Keep kids away when using pool chemicals.

4. When not in use, keep chemicals locked up so children and animals can’t get into them.

5. Don’t mix different pool products together — especially chlorine products with acid.

6. If the product label doesn’t instruct you to pre-dissolve pool chemicals, don’t do it.

7. Never add water to pool chemicals — always put the chemicals into the pool.

Always follow directions for safely disposing of pool chemicals and containers.

Related Reading
Non Toxic Swimming Pools
Guess Who’s Peeing in the Pool?
Water Safety Tips for Summer

photo: christingasner, photographer | iStock | Thinkstock

Read more: Babies, Children, Family, General Health, Health, Health & Safety, Home, Pets, Safety, Teens, ,

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Ann Pietrangelo

Ann Pietrangelo is the author of No More Secs! Living, Laughing & Loving Despite Multiple Sclerosis and Catch That Look: Living, Laughing & Loving Despite Triple-Negative Breast Cancer. She is a freelance writer and member of the American Society of Journalists and Authors. Follow on Twitter @AnnPietrangelo

75 comments

+ add your own
6:23AM PDT on Jul 19, 2014

scary

10:12AM PDT on Jun 21, 2014

good reminders

2:51PM PDT on May 27, 2014

Really?

10:59AM PDT on May 27, 2014

Good reminder that we must take care with strong powerful substances

10:05AM PDT on May 27, 2014

I prefer to swim in the sea. I'd rather take my chance on Mother Nature's chemical stew. Thanks.

1:20AM PDT on May 26, 2014

This is, absolutely, life-saving information. Thanks for sharing.

7:46AM PDT on May 25, 2014

Thanks for sharing.

6:55AM PDT on May 24, 2014

And this differs from other chemicals used in the household how?

10:09AM PDT on May 23, 2014

Thanks for sharing .

8:11AM PDT on May 23, 2014



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