Pool chemical injuries send thousands to the ER

CDC data shows children, teens make up majority of injuries

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Nationwide, about 5,000 people in 2012 went the emergency room because of pool chemical injuries, according to a recent study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Children and teenagers made up almost half to those with preventable injuries, the CDC found, and more than a third of the injuries occurred at a home.

The majority of pool chemical injuries happened during the summer swim season — from Memorial Day to Labor Day — and almost half occurred on weekends.

“Chemicals are added to the water in pools to stop germs from spreading,” said Michele Hlavsa, chief of CDC’s Healthy Swimming Program. “But they need to be handled and stored safely to avoid serious injuries.”

The CDC recommended the following steps to prevent pool chemical injuries:

l Read and follow directions on product labels.

l Wear appropriate safety equipment, such as goggles and masks, as directed, when handling pool chemicals.

l Secure pool chemicals to protect people and animals.

l Keep young children away when handling chemicals.

l Don’t mix different pool chemicals with each other, especially chlorine products with acid.

l Pre-dissolve pool chemicals only when directed by product label.

l Add pool chemical to water.

The study analyzed data from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s National Electronic Injury Surveillance System, which looks at injuries related to consumer products from about 100 hospital emergency departments nationwide.

l Comments: (319) 398-8331; chelsea.keenan@sourcemedia.net

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