Swimming Pool Safety

And now to the other topic which I have been banging on about recently.

Swimming pools – we’re not so used to them, us Ingles. Come on, admit it, swimming pools, outdoor and private ones that is, are just not that common in the UK. Well, they weren’t in Walthamstow when I left.

But in Mallorca, there’s plenty of them around and we need to keep an eye on them – they’ve got great potential for fun, and also for danger. So we need to take the whole subject rather seriously I’m afraid.

The statistics stack up – 400’000 people die every year in drowning accidents. I did some research into legislation for swimming pools in Spain and they’re nowhere near as stringent here as they are in France. If you own a pool in France it has to be fenced off so that little kids can’t wander over and fall in unnoticed by their parents and carers. It’s an EU regulation, so I don?t understand why it isn’t a requirement in Spain. Perhaps someone can enlighten me.

I spoke to Becky from http://www.mallorcasolutions.com and she had a lot of helpful and practical advice to give:

  • It is a requirement of public pools to have their depths marked and for there to be a lifeguard on duty. There should also be a first aid kit available.
  • Don’t let your kids wear t-shirts in the water in lieu of sun protection as they can rise up over their heads. Just keep slapping on the sunblock.
  • Small children should always wear swimming nappies in the pool, if an number two accident happens then the pool should be completely drained as faeces contaminates the water

But it’s not just the water, it’s what’s in the water too which is a problem. If you over chlorinate your pool then you could be asking for trouble. Chlorine is being bunged into swimming pools all over the island and it can aggravate asthma and skin problems in kids, and adults. Basically, you’re swimming in bleach – but there are alternatives. You can try a new, kinder method using minerals, and again there seem to be EU regulations coming up which mean you will have to review your pool maintenance anyway. I spoke to Ian and John from http://www.poolsan.eu/about this and they had plenty of scary things to say about chlorine – they are suppliers of mineral based pool treatments for the island. If we’re ever in the rather cosy position of having to worry about the maintenance of our swimming pool then I think I’d go for the natural and clever option rather than having blurry, stinging eyes…… it’s a no brainer really.

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