No matter where you live, chances are that the COVID-19 pandemic is weighing heavy on your mind. Typically, many people choose to take a relaxing dip in the pool to relieve stress. With that said, you may be wondering whether it is safe to go swimming during this outbreak. Well, there’s good news for pool owners! With a properly secured and cleaned pool, experts are saying that yes, it is safe to use your pool during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Since studies have shown that, on the whole, swimming is good for your health, and helps to relieve stress. With so many people feeling isolated, and parents looking for parents to occupy their children’s day, swimming can be a welcome addition to our daily lives – even when we’re social distancing.
Before we get started, let’s review. Just what is the coronavirus? Coronavirus is a family of viruses. Once a person is infected, the resulting illness is referred to as COVID-19, a brand new strain of coronavirus technically named SARS-CoV-2. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), this is the seventh coronavirus known to infect humans. In fact, this is the same viral family as SARS and MERS. There are some discrepancies with how people are referring to this current outbreak. For simplicity, we’ll just use “the coronavirus” throughout this article.
In this article, we’ll only be relaying information from reputable sources, including the CDC and the World Health Organization (WHO). Still, this post should not be taken as medical advice. For further information, please refer to guides from the official CDC and WHO websites. Additionally, you can contact a medical professional for specific questions or health concerns.
Swimming During the Coronavirus Outbreak
Now that experts have been studying this infection for several weeks, what do they say about swimming during the coronavirus outbreak? As we mentioned above, it seems that it is still safe to go into the water. The CDC has a page that specifically addresses all water-related issues.
Here’s the official statement about swimming during the coronavirus outbreak:
“There is no evidence that COVID-19 can be spread to humans through the use of pools and hot tubs. Proper operation, maintenance, and disinfection (e.g., with chlorine and bromine) of pools and hot tubs should remove or inactivate the virus that causes COVID-19.”
So there you go: it seems that the water and chlorine in swimming pools will help to kill the virus. That is wonderful news for swimmers.
Pool Fences Are More Important Than Ever in Times of Social Distancing
As you can see, as long as you and your loved ones are practicing social distancing, it is very safe to take a dip. Many health experts consider swimming to be a near-perfect form of exercise. On the whole, swimming is one of the best full-body workouts. It works multiple muscles at once. Additionally, it is very healthy for your heart. If you are lucky enough to own a swimming pool during these troubled times, it’s a great way relieve some stress while getting a terrific workout.
Open or Closed: Pools and Drowning Danger
While a pool can be a great source of relief in these troubled times, it can also be more dangerous than most people realize. The CDC reports that drowning is the number one accidental killer of children under five. It’s terrifying, but true. In 69 percent of fatal drowning incidents, one or both parents were supervising their child.
To make matters worse, when children are pulled from the water during drowning incidents, two-thirds of the time they’re wearing regular clothes rather than a swimsuit. This means that their parents never expected them to be near the water. In 77 percent of fatal drowning incidents, the child was last seen less than five minutes before being discovered in the pool. Additionally, COVID-19 is a respiratory issue. While children infected with COVID-19 generally recover, non-fatal drowning can compromise their respiratory system. This complication could make COVID-19 far more lethal to a drowning victim. Not to mention, given the current shortage of ventilators, treating a drowning victim may be even harder than normal.
Obviously this is horrifying news… but imagine how much worse this situation can get while families are self-isolating or quarantined. Children are home from school, adults are working remotely, and babysitters aren’t available to come over. Chances are, parents will be way more distracted than usual, and children will be way more bored. With preoccupied parents and no friends to hang out with, children are likely look for entertainment. Their guardians will frequently lose track of them around the house. A child sneaking outside to explore an unguarded pool can have fatal consequences.
This danger still holds true for areas of the country with cooler temperatures. Even though the swimming pools may be closed for winter, the cover can still fail, leading to injury or even death.
Now more than ever, a pool fence will act as an essential life-saving tool.
For pool fences to be effective, they must:
- Provide a barrier between your home and the pool area.
- You’ll want to be absolutely sure that your child can’t approach the pool unsupervised, even if the house door is accidentally left ajar.
- Have a self-closing gate that latches automatically.
- The gate should never be intentionally propped open, and the latch should be out of reach of children.
- Be at least 48 inches tall with slats no more than four inches apart.
- This prevents young children from climbing over or through the fence.
Pool fences such as Life Saver’s are one of several safety measures prescribed by the Consumer Product Safety Commission to supplement parent supervision.
These safety measures include:
- High locks on all doors and windows leading to the pool.
- Alarms on the doors and windows that access the pool.
- An alarm inside the pool, and an extra alarm, like Safety Turtle, that is worn on the child.
- Swimming lessons as early as you and your pediatrician feel comfortable. Infant swim instructors start training babies to roll over and float earlier than you might think.
- CPR training for you and your family. Administering CPR while paramedics are on the way can literally mean the difference between life and death.
- A pool safety fence that isolates the pool from the home, as described above.
As you can see, pool fences comprise a critical layer of defense for your family’s safety. The idea is to keep your home as safe as possible. After all, every layer of protection added will significantly reduce the chance of an accidental drowning incident.
While trapped in the house, installing a pool fence offers tremendous peace-of-mind for parents.
Once again, for further information about the pandemic, please contact a medical professional. Stay safe, everyone.