Wading pool wisdom

FROM TOTS TO TEENS

June 29, 1993|By Dr. Alain Joffe and Dr. Modena Wilson | Dr. Alain Joffe and Dr. Modena Wilson,Contributing Writers

Q: My neighbors seem surprised that I don't change the water in my children's wading pool every day.

Isn't it enough to change it when it looks dirty?

A: If your neighbors have young children, they may be worried about their own as well as yours.

Bodies of water -- no matter how small -- represent a drowning hazard for young children.

It only takes enough water to cover the nose and mouth to kill a child, so the wading pool should only contain water when there is an adult directly supervising the pool area.

When the adult leaves, the pool should be emptied.

We would have two secondary concerns about leaving water in the pool between uses.

Young children may contaminate the water with stool containing bacteria, which may thrive in warm water and spread to other children who use the pool.

Standing water also serves as a breeding area for mosquitoes. While these are not usually a health hazard in the United States, they are certainly a nuisance.

We've thought of three good reasons for emptying your wading pool after each use.

It is worth the additional water and effort to assure a healthy and happy summer for your children.

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