If your summertime plans include swimming at a public pool, here are some things you should consider before putting on those swimsuits.
It’s a good idea to choose a location close to the lifeguard, but don’t let a pool lifeguard give you a false sense of security. It is still vitally important to maintain constant supervision, even with a lifeguard present.
Believe it or not, chlorine does not kill all germs instantly, and swallowing just a little bit of contaminated water can make you sick. The most common illness you can contract from public swimming pools is diarrhea. Never put your child in the water if he or she has had diarrhea in the past two weeks. Also, check the diaper every 30-60 minutes or take your child to the bathroom every 60 minutes. Above all: teach your child from early on to never swallow the pool water.
How young is too young?
There is no set age recommended, but your child should be at least a few months old before swimming in a public pool. Often, public pools are not heated enough for a young infant and can lead to hypothermia if they are in for too long. A good rule of thumb is to stay in for no longer than 10 minutes at a time. At the first signs of shivering, remove your baby immediately and warm him up to prevent any further problems.