Following the pool rules to keep yourself, others safe

SPOKANE, Wash. — When you’re cooling off in the water with your family this summer, it’s easy for accidents to happen if you’re not careful.

According to the Washington State Department of Health, drowning is the second leading cause of injury-related deaths in the U.S. for children ages one to 14.

With younger children, this mostly happens in residential swimming pools and it can happen quickly, even silently, when the parent or guardian isn’t looking.

After more than a year, public pools across the City of Spokane and Spokane County are open and prepared to keep families safe as they swim.

“Each lifeguard is rigorously trained and re-certified,” said Director of Spokane Parks and Recreation Garrett Jones. “We also host training sessions to refresh the skills every two weeks.”

Lifeguards will do their part to protect people, but swimming at a public pool will come with a set of rules for everyone to follow to keep each other safe.

Like children under 10 needing to be supervised by an adult 18 and older, no horseplay in or around the pool and swimmers need to pass a test of swimming ability before using the diving board.

These are just a few and they are in place to keep swimmers from drowning or getting hurt.

You can see a full list of pool rules here on the Spokane Parks and Recreation website.

You’re also asked to shower before swimming and to not get in the pool at all if you have open wounds, infections or are sick with vomiting or diarrhea.

This is to prevent other swimmers from getting sick.

Cryptosporidium is a germ that can spread quickly and easily in pool water or a shallow beach — and it comes from feces.

Even when a person is no longer sick with diarrhea, the germ can still shed in water and it’s tough to kill.

“Even if your water is highly chlorinated or within proper levels of chlorination, the ‘crypto’ can get through the water,” said Environmental Health Specialist with Spokane Regional Health District Trisha McClure. “We also encourage kids and people not to ingest that pool water and to spit it out playing games and having fun. That is one way we’re actually getting that bug into us to make us sick.”

So when you’re swimming at the pool this summer, just remember that all the rules are there for a reason.

Everyone should have fun, but that fun only lasts if everyone does their part.

More pool safety information can be found on the Washington State Department of Health’s website. 

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