If you recently had a traditional pool or salt system installed on your property, you and your family may be pretty excited to get swimming. But before you do, there are a few safety concerns that you may want to educate yourself on before taking a dip and letting others do so as well.

Be aware of waterborne diseases
Swimming can be a fun physical activity for all ages. However, if pools aren’t properly maintained, they can harbor bacteria that can cause waterborne diseases in swimmers who swallow and come in contact with the water. The most common recreational water illness is diarrhea, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The condition can be caused by a variety of different germs, including Cryptosporidium, Giardia, Shigella, norovirus and E.coli.

The CDC stated that, over the past 20 years, there has been a significant rise in RWI outbreaks related to swimming. In particular, Cryptosporidium is tolerant to chlorine and can live for days in pools that are well-maintained.

The good news is that, Cryptosporidium aside, most other bacteria cannot survive very long in pools that maintain the right balance of chemicals. This is a service that Poolman is more than happy to provide for you.

In addition, it’s important to know that chlorine and other disinfectants kill most germs over the course of several minutes, not seconds, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

When it comes to spreading bacteria in pools, people aren’t the only contributors. When you’re not looking, animals and critters may use your pool from time to time. Just like humans, they can spread diseases. To avoid this at all costs, you may want to consider investing in a pool cover for when it’s not being used.

Kids are at high risk
Being aware of waterborne diseases and how they’re spread can help you protect children from getting sick, especially since they’re the most at risk.

“Studies show that young children tend to drink more water while swimming than adults. Because they drink more water, they’re more likely to get sick,” said Michele Hlavsa, an employee of the CDC.

With this being said, you can instruct your kids – or anyone, for that matter – to keep water out of their mouths if they can help it. Also, it may be wise to give all little swimmers a pre-swim wash, to not let them swim if they’ve recently had diarrhea and to take them on bathroom breaks frequently.