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Preparedness Messages

Disaster can strike quickly, without warning. Your health department, other local officials, and relief workers have plans in place for a variety of possible emergencies. Do you? Valuable information can also be found on the following websites: Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) or Centers for Disease Control (CDC)

Home Pool and Hot Tub Maintenance and Safety

Owning a pool or hot tub comes with many responsibilities.  These include taking steps for proper operation, such as keeping the water clean and at an appropriate temperature. 

  • Pool and hot tub main drains must be clearly visible, intact and properly attached.
  • Use qualified professionals to repair or replace equipment.
  • Follow all manufacturers’ directions for operation, cleaning and maintenance.
  • Maintain proper disinfectant and pH levels all the time.
  • Test the water regularly.

A layer of Protection — A pool or hot tub is only as safe as its weakest link.

  • Keep children under active supervision.
  • Secure your pool or hot tub with appropriate barriers.
  • Remove any structures that provide unsupervised access.
  • Establish and enforce rules.
  • Make sure everyone knows how to swim well.
  • Know how to respond in an emergency.

Ensure Good Water Clarity.

  • Effective disinfection, water circulation and filtration are keys to keeping the water clear.
  • Contaminants are always entering the water from swimmers, the air, runoff, leaves, pollen and other outside sources.
  • Keep the water clear of debris and vacuum often.
  • Don’t let anyone who has diarrhea into the water.
  • Consider running your pump longer during high use times or periods when it is hot or rainy.

Use Chemicals Safely.

  • Read directions and safety information on all chemicals you use.
  • Never add water to chemicals. Always add the chemical to large amounts of water and pour slowly.
  • Never mix chemicals.
  • Always keep chemicals in their original containers and replace covers properly.
  • Always clean up spills immediately.
  • Use appropriate protective equipment when handling chemicals.

Caution: No One Is “Drownproof.”

  • Participation in any swim lesson program cannot “drownproof” your child, despite what some may claim.
  • No child is ever “drownproof” or water safe.
  • Water safety and learn-to-swim courses should be age-appropriate.
  • Learning to swim well takes time. Do not expect that children will learn to swim in one set of lessons or even in one season.

Take Action to Prevent Drowning — Secure your pool or hot tub with barriers such as these:

  • Surround the entire pool with a fence or barrier that is at least 4 feet high, has a self-closing and self-latching gate and is designed so that a child cannot climb over, under, around or through it.
  • Remove or enclose steps or ladders to prevent access to an aboveground pool.
  • Mount a lockable structural barrier that fully encloses the top of a hot tub and will not collapse under the weight of a child.
  • Consider placing a safety cover that meets safety standards over the pool and/or installing alarms on doors or in the pool to detect unauthorized access.  Underwater alarms work best.
  • Keep children under active supervision when in or around the water.
  • Have weak swimmers wear a U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket—do not rely on water wings or inflatable toys.
  • Remove any pool toys from the pool or hot tub area when the area is not in use.
  • Do not use alcohol and/or drugs before or while using a pool or hot tub.
  • Establish and enforce rules, such as no one swims alone, stay away from drains, no loose/dangling items and no diving (if appropriate).
  • Obey set limits for how much time is spent in hot water.
  • Children younger than 5 should not use a hot tub.
  • Pregnant women or people with chronic medical conditions should obtain a health care provider’s approval.

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