For most inflatable pools or plastic kiddie pools following the guidelines listed above, the water should be changed every two weeks at a minimum. If you are not adding chlorine to kill bacteria, drain the pool every other day. Stagnant water without chlorine can become unhealthy water in as little as 24-48 hours.
The water in small inflatable or plastic pools and water slides should be emptied at least daily to help prevent the spread of germs. After emptying the water from the pool: Remove any debris.
But exactly how long can you leave the water in your kiddie pool before it's time to dump, clean, and refill? The answer will make your back hurt: Kiddie pools should be drained or emptied after every use, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Every 10 to 14 days will be okay. But, other exceptions will force you to change the water often. For instance, for pools that you don't sanitize with bleach to kill germs and bacteria, drain the pool daily. Note: Stagnant water that has no chlorine will be unhealthy within 24 to 48 hours.
Although inflatable pools don't need to use chlorine, it's one of the most common ways to keep pool water sanitary and safe to swim in. The chlorine is used to efficiently kill bacteria in the water that may be harmful to swimmers. Larger inflatable pools will benefit the most from the use of chlorine.
Don't keep your baby in the pool water for longer than 10 minutes at first. When you get out, be sure to wrap your baby in a warm blanket or towel immediately. Babies younger than 12 months shouldn't stay in a pool for longer than 30 minutes at a time.
“It's important to change the paddling pool water every day – drain it and let it dry at the end of the day and use an anti-bacterial spray to kill any germs so it is safe to use the next day.”
With excessive debris in the water like leaves, pine needles, and dirt, the pool walls will get slimy and grow mildew faster.
A simple and non-toxic way to clean a paddling pool is to clean it with white vinegar. White vinegar is great for cleaning because it can remove all the horrid bacteria that sets up up home in your paddling pool. It's also colourless, so it won't stain the pool either.
Standard swimming costumes are fine, but must be worn with a swim nappy to avoid accidents in the pool. For peace of mind, choose baby swimwear with an integrated swim nappy, as these are designed to prevent faeces leaking into the pool. Alternatively, use a reusable swim nappy with your child's usual swimming costume.
The AAP recommends that children wear hats, sunglasses, and cover-ups. Clothing that offers extra UV protection is helpful. Swim shirts, which are also called rash guards, provide more protection from the sun than traditional bathing suits because of the long sleeves and the special fabric used.
Recreational water illness and chlorine poisoning may lead to digestive distress, such as abdominal cramping and diarrhea. These conditions may seem like a bad case of food poisoning or stomach flu. Chlorine poisoning may also cause symptoms in the nervous and respiratory systems.
For the greatest protection against algae, bacteria, and cloudy water, Intex pools should maintain a chlorine level of 2.0-4.0 ppm at all times. If you opted for the Intex Salt Chlorinator, you can make your own chlorine by adding the correct amount of Pool Salt to the water.
Salt is often presented as a healthier alternative to adding chlorine to a kiddie pool, since saltwater is gentler on the skin.
To keep the pool clean without a filter, it is necessary to use chlorine with a flocculant or to use a flocculant chemical. This product groups the impurities that float in the water, causing them to fall to the bottom of the pool so that they can be removed later with a cleaner.
If your child has had a near drowning, or perhaps swallowed too much water, keep a close eye out for the symptoms of secondary drowning and take them to the hospital immediately. Symptoms can even take between one and 72 hours to appear.
Concerns have been raised that kids who take lessons too early might develop a false sense of security around water and therefore be more in danger of drowning than kids who don't. The American Association of Pediatrics says children can safely take swim lessons as early as age 1.
Swim nappies are a must
No baby is going to enjoy the experience if they're waterlogged in their standard nappy. Most pools wouldn't allow them in wearing those anyway. Instead, buy specific swim nappies – available in most big supermarkets or chemists – and a suitable swimsuit, trunks or wetsuit.
You must hold your child horizontal in the water as a vertical submersion will push the water up their nose (this stings). Move with your baby; ensure you can see their face, and use the verbal cue, lift on the word under and if your babies eyes are shut they are ready to submerge.
Swim nappies are a must for any child who isn't potty trained and wants to enjoy a dip in the pool, baby and toddler swim classes, or the sea.
Don't dunk a baby underwater. Although infants may naturally hold their breath, they're just as likely to swallow water. That's why babies are more susceptible to the bacteria and viruses in pool water and lakes that can cause stomach flu and diarrhea.
If a kiddie pool's water isn't going to be changed regularly, disinfecting it makes sense, and bleach will work well in that regard. Add only enough bleach to a kiddie pool to maintain chlorine between 1 and 2 parts per million (PPM), and test to ensure proper levels.