Pool Chemicals Send Thousands to E.R.

Cailley Hammel Headshot

According to a new study, injuries from pool chemicals led to nearly 5,000 emergency room visits in 2012, underscoring the need for pool professionals to educate customers and their families about the hazards of pools chemicals. 

The research, conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, found that nearly half of these injuries involved children and teenagers, and more than a third occurred on a residential property. Injuries were most common during the summer season, from Memorial Day to Labor Day, and almost half occurred on weekends.

“Chemicals are added to the water in pools to stop germs from spreading. But they need to be handled and stored safely to avoid serious injuries,” says Michele Hlavsa, chief of CDC’s Healthy Swimming Program.

Pool professionals play a big role in educating customers about chemical care and handling. Here are just a few ways industry pros can help keep their customers safe:

  • When meeting with a customer new to pool maintenance, carefully explain how to properly handle chemicals to prevent injury. (Or, create and distribute flyers that gently explain the hazards of pool chemicals and how to stay safe while using them.) 
  • Encourage customers to keep chemicals in a safe place, out of reach of children or pets. 
  • Encourage pool owners to wear appropriate safety equipment, such as goggles and gloves (as directed) when handling pool chemicals. (Retailers should consider offering such equipment for sale.)
  • Pool schools should include a segment on safety issues to address the above points. 
  • Make a point to discuss chemical safety issues during National Water Safety Month, or every May. (Which also means now is a great time to bring it up!) 
To see the study, click here
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