Whether you dog paddle or do an elegant backstroke, swimming can be fun and we all know it’s good for you. Also, when your muscles are tight and you’re tense, a nice sit in a spa or hot tub can be very relaxing. Water translates to fun, relaxation, and good exercise for many of us. In fact, did you know that people in the United States swim more than 300 million times in pools and other swimming areas each year?
However, in some places, swimming and other water-related activities can lead to injuries and the spread of disease, including:
Drowning Drowning is a leading cause of unintentional injury-related death for children ages 1–14. Non-fatal drowning can cause brain damage resulting in learning disabilities or even permanent loss of basic functioning.
Chemical injuries Injuries linked to pool chemicals accounted for almost 5,000 emergency department visits each year. Almost half of the patients were under 18 years of age.
Waterborne illness outbreaks Outbreaks associated with pools and aquatic facilities have increased dramatically from an average of 15 a year (1993–2002) to 34 (2003–2012). A single outbreak can sicken thousands.
Public pool and hot tub closings Recent studies found that routine inspections resulted in immediate closure of 11.8% (1 out of 8) of public pools and 15.1% (1 out of 7) of public hot tubs because of health hazards.
Pool codes are specific rules that designers, builders, and managers of spas, pools, waterparks, and interactive fountains must follow to keep the fun going and reduce injuries and illnesses. Pool codes are similar to codes used for restaurants to tell them how to keep food safe to eat. Codes usually cover such things, as how water is tested for safety, how aquatic facilities are built and managed to ensure public safety, and how chemicals should be used to keep water safe.