After your San Diego pool service professionals have brought your swimming pool up to date, the last thing you want is a dirty pool, right? However, if you have young children, maintaining a consistently germ-free environment may be easier said than done. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, recreational water illnesses are contracted by swallowing or coming into contact with pool water as well as breathing in mist. These germs are often introduced through fecal matter, which can enter a pool if swimmers don’t properly clean themselves beforehand. Of course, young children – especially those who aren’t potty trained – are the biggest offenders in this regard.

Kids who are too young to be potty trained
If your child is too young to be potty trained or isn’t ready, it’s your responsibility to take the right steps to ensure that no germs are making their way into your pool. You don’t want that new salt system of yours full of bacteria, after all! Start out by taking frequent breaks from the pool to check your child’s diaper. Don’t wait until your little one says he or she has to go, as it could be too late to stop by then!

When you have to change a diaper, be sure try to do it away from the pool area, because as the CDC notes, germs can spread around a pool. Also, be sure to wash your child thoroughly before letting him or her back into the pool, and do the same with your hands.

Kids who are ready for potty training
There’s no specific age when kids become ready for potty training, but the Mayo Clinic has a few ways that parents can tell whether their children are ready to use the bathroom instead of a diaper. If your son or daughter can sit on a toilet, pull his or her pants up, not go to the bathroom for at least two hours at a time and follow directions, there’s a good chance that he or she is ready to use the potty.

Once you’ve decided to get started on potty training, the most important thing to keep in mind is that you need to make it a positive experience for your kid, and therefore keep a positive attitude throughout the process. Set your child up with a potty chair in the bathroom and teach him or her how to use it. Look for signs that a bathroom trip might be necessary in the near future, like if your little one starts squirming, making faces or squatting. Take frequent bathroom breaks – especially during a swim session – and remember to wipe your child thoroughly.

According to Parenting magazine, bribes can be useful, but you shouldn’t go overboard. Try giving your kid a couple of small pieces of candy (like M&Ms or Skittles) if he or she goes to the bathroom, and give him or her a couple more if he or she manages to wipe afterward. A sticker chart, trips to the playground or extra TV time might also make good prizes. Plenty of praise when he or she does it right is also helpful.

If your child doesn’t seem to be responding well to potty training or it’s clear that he or she isn’t ready, don’t sweat it. Return to diapers and try again in a few weeks – eventually, he or she will get it!

With these tips, you and your family should enjoy a fabulous season in the pool without any major mishaps. As always, be sure to schedule regular San Diego pool maintenance to keep your pool in tip-top shape!