SOURCE: U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, news release, May 15, 2014
THURSDAY, May 15, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Before diving into summer, keep in mind that a new study found that nearly 5,000 pool chemical-related injuries were treated in U.S. hospital emergency rooms in 2012.
Children and teens suffered nearly half of these injuries and more than one-third occurred at home, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention researchers found. Not surprisingly, most occurred between Memorial Day and Labor Day, with nearly half of these incidents happening over a weekend.
"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," Michele Hlavsa, chief of CDC's Healthy Swimming Program, said in an agency news release.
The three most common swimming pool chemical injuries are respiratory problems (from breathing in fumes), eye injuries and skin injuries, according to the CDC.
To mark Recreational Water Illness and Injury Prevention Week, May 19 to May 25, the CDC offers a number of pool chemical safety tips for pool owners and operators:
While pool chemicals help keep swimming water safe, it's also important that people try to keep germs out of the water in the first place. Ways to do this include not going in a pool when you have diarrhea and being sure to take children for bathroom breaks, the experts noted.
In addition, you can help protect yourself from illness by avoiding swallowing pool water, the CDC said.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission offers pool and spa safety tips.