Pool chemicals are an important part of keeping your pool safe for swimmers. Chemicals such as chlorine can help to kill bacteria in the water and prevent illness. That said, they are also potent substances that can be harmful and lead to injury when mishandled.

Since 65 percent of these injuries take place in the summer, this is the perfect time to shed some light on the proper way to handle these chemicals. Now let’s go over some of those key topics in this blog post.

Consistent Injuries Indicate the Need for Awareness

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the mishandling of pool chemicals leads to thousands of injuries every year that require emergency room visits.  To be more precise, more than 4,500 emergency room visits in the United States were caused by pool chemicals each year between 2008 and 2017. The fact that this number did not significantly change in almost a decade means that educating pool owners about chemicals is a helpful step toward safety.

Proper Use of Pool Chemicals

Don’t inhale. 

In recent years, the most common reason for an emergency room visit due to pool chemicals was the inhalation of fumes. Breathing in these gases can irritate your throat and make you nauseous.  If you breathe in fumes, move outdoors or to an area with clean air.

Operate with caution.

Working with chemicals shouldn’t be taken lightly. When balancing the chemicals in your pool, read the labels, use protective wear like goggles, and store the chemicals safely out of the reach of any young children or pets. In addition, don’t mix together any chemicals. Doing this would have caused you to fail chemistry class, but in real life it can land you in the hospital.

Keep the water clean.

When urine, feces and sweat make their way into the pool, they decrease the amount of chlorine that is available to kill other germs. By bathing before swimming, you help to prevent those bodily germs from contaminating the water.

Read the label.

Read and follow the instructions that come with the chemicals.  Don’t cut corners by ignoring the recommendations from the manufacturer.  For instance, you should store chemicals below 95°F. Keep them out of direct sunlight, in a well-ventilated room, and away from heat sources.

Secure the room.

Keep any room that contains pool chemicals secured in order to keep them away from children and animals.

Avoid Contact.

In the event that a chemical does spill, you should act immediately.  After all, when chemicals are handled improperly, they can cause burns and other serious injuries. If they get in your eyes, hold your eyes open while flushing them out with water. Since chemicals can be corrosive, you should wash any chemicals off of your body or clothes right away. Do not rub your eyes, as this can further irritate them. If this does not help, you should call the poison control center.

Simply by keeping these tips in mind and take proper precautions, you can avoid a potentially serious incident.