With this unofficial start to summer now underway, it also means area pools are opening up for business. While people are cooling off, they still need to keep safety a top priority.

Those monitoring pools want to make sure health and safety are the top priority. Before you dive in to a pool, keep your safety and hygiene in mind.

Heather Simpson is getting ready for the summer months at the YMCA downtown.

“We see a huge influx of families coming in and wanting to swim anywhere between the afternoon hours even into the evening hours,” Simpson said.

At anytime, Simpson says they see anywhere from 20 to 30 kids in the pool. Also spotting a big red flag.

“We see a lot of parents not actually watching their children and we want to emphasize to them that just because there is a lifeguard on duty, they still need to be supervised by a parent,” Simpson said.

Though lifeguards are CPR and first aid certified, Simpson says those are helpful tools for anyone out on a swim to know. For parents, she stresses limiting horseplay to try to avoid the child taking in too much water that could even be devastating much later.

“It doesn’t really seem like it’s a big deal at the moment but they can have a secondary drowning, which happens the next day,” Simpson said.

Hygiene is another thing to always keep in mind. 

“The people need to bathe basically before they get into the pool and not use that swimming pool as a bathtub.” Environmental administrator Susan Morris also says of course never use the restroom in the pool and avoid drinking the pool water.

“That gets in the water and that can be transmitted and the diseases from that can be transmitted,” Morris said. “So it’s really important that people are clean when they get into the pool.” 

Morris says you can get irritated eyes, skin rash and severe stomach pains if you, or someone else in the water doesn’t practice good hygiene.

“If you think about e coli, the types of diseases that you could get from anything that could be transferred to food,” Morris said. “You can get from drinking the water as well.”

Though you’re cooling off in the pool, Simpson suggests you and your kiddos take frequent breaks.

“Get out, give yourself some water, hydrate. Maybe a snack to eat,” Simpson said.

If you see something out of the ordinary in a public pool, you’re asked to call the health department. Inspectors have been busy checking each public pool so it can be opened up in time for the season.