The Hazards of Swimming Pool Chemicals

Chlorine and other chemicals keep your pool free from bacteria, algae and other microbes that can harm your child. Naturally, there are hazards inherent in the use and storage of these chemicals. How can parents avoid the dangers of pool but still have water that is safe and pleasant to swim in?

Know the Chemicals
Read packaging labels and pool cleaning instructions to know when and what to add to your pool. What are each of the chemicals? What is their purpose? What hazards do they pose?

Many chemicals for pools are activated when they mix with water. Bodily fluids can also make them react. They can cause serious injury if they come into direct contact with a person's eyes, skin or respiratory or digestive system.

Store Chemicals Safely
Pool chemicals can be considered safely stored in a dry non-easily accessible place, but they can become hazardous if touched by a small amount of water or if improperly mixed with other chemicals or reactive materials. Store them in a locked cupboard or cabinet where children and pets will not have access.

The chemicals can become reactive and generate high temperature that may cause fire and explosions, as well as release toxic vapors if not stored or handled properly. Improper storage can lead to fire, explosion, burns, serious injuries and even death due to the release of chlorine gas. The release of chlorine gas is actually what kills bacteria and viruses in the pool water so it is a good thing unless handled improperly.

Treat Pools Carefully
Treat the pool with the chemical only after taking precautions to keep children out of the pool area. Do not allow children or pets into the pool area while you are treating the pool or for the recommended time after application. 

Protect yourself with gloves and slowly add chemicals to avoid spills and splashes or sprays of the chemical that might get on your face or skin. Protect your eyes and face, since accidental inhalation of gaseous chlorine can cause serious respiratory emergency.

Put chemicals away immediately after use. Leaving them out near the poolside is a recipe for disaster.

Close the pool until the chemicals have had time to work and dissipate. Swimming in a shock treated pool too soon after treatment can cause chemical burns to a child's body.

Keep pool chemicals stored in a designated place. Use according to package instructions after reading all warnings on the package label. Pool chemicals are safe if used with caution and intelligence and if stored properly.

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