Tips for Pool Owners: the Safe Handling of Pool Chemicals
At public pools, life guards and parents enforce hallowed safety rules, like "no running" and "wait an hour after a meal before swimming." At private residential pools, however, the responsibility for safety falls squarely on pool owners and the rules go far beyond "no horseplay."
The American Association of Poison Control Centers recommends that the first safety rule for pool owners be: handle pool chemicals carefully! In addition to the obvious dangers to young children, anyone can be poisoned by toxic fumes when pool chemicals are combined inappropriately or if containers leak.
Pool owners should always:
- Follow manufacturer’s instructions printed on the product label. Use only the recommended amounts and follow the storage advice.
- If product mixing is required, do so only according to label instructions and in a well-ventilated area. Do not inhale pool chemical dust or fumes.
- Keep pool chemicals locked and out of reach of children and pets.
- Make sure the use and disposal of pool chemicals is handled by an adult.
- Do not smoke while using pool chemicals; keep chemicals away from the barbeque grill.
- Wash hands thoroughly after working with pool chemicals.
- Keep the poison center hotline number, 1-800-222-1222, posted near the chemicals and near the telephone.
- If pool chemicals are inhaled, splashed on skin or eyes, or swallowed, call the local poison center immediately at 1-800-222-1222. Have the container with you when you call.
Local poison centers are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to answer questions about poisoning prevention and treatment. Nurses, pharmacists, physicians and other poison experts provide confidential, toll-free advice at 1-800-222-1222.