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.