Simple steps to pool safety
What is Active Supervision?
Safe drain covers save lives.
The week before Memorial Day, May 22-28, 2023, marks the 19th annual Healthy and Safe Swimming Week. Nationwide, communities will be collaborating and engaging in discussion about how to maximize the health benefits of water-based physical activity while minimizing the risk of recreational water–associated illness and injury.
Healthy and Safe Swimming Week Virtual Toolkit - 2023 This toolkit contains VDH brochures, posters, and links to other partners information in one convenient location.
CDC- Healthy Swimming Visit this website to download a variety of health promotion materials, including brochures, fact sheets, info-graphics, and more.
Got Diarrhea? Don’t Swim!
To prevent illness while swimming, follow these steps:
- Don't swim if you have had vomiting or diarrhea.
- Did you know swallowing even a small amount of water contaminated with diarrhea germs can make you sick for up to 3 weeks? Don’t swallow water at the pool or splash pad!
- Jets in pools, spas, and splash pads can rinse germs found in poop off butts. Swallowing the water with those germs can make you sick. Chlorine doesn’t kill germs instantly.
- Shower with soap and water BEFORE and AFTER enjoying a swim.
- Provide continuous and close supervision to recreators - no running to avoid slips and falls!
- Swallowing the water with those germs can make you sick. Chlorine doesn’t kill germs instantly.
- Did you know that it can take chlorine minutes—and sometimes even days—to kill germs in splash pad water? Swallowing water with germs can cause diarrhea or vomiting.
- Going for a swim with kids? Take a break every hour to use the bathroom or check diapers. Change diapers away from the water to help keep germs from getting in.
Can Monkeypox Spread in Swimming Pools?
No studies have found a clear link between monkeypox and water in pools, hot tubs, or splash pads. The monkeypox virus is killed in water at the chlorine levels recommended by CDC and required by U.S. jurisdictions.
However, it is possible to spread monkeypox to others through close, skin-to-skin contact. It can also be spread by sharing objects that a person with monkeypox used, such as towels, kickboards, or clothing.
Visit the VDH Monkeypox webpage for more information.
Before getting into any treated water, do your own inspection. Check the following items to see if they pass your inspection:
- Water’s pH and free chlorine or bromine concentration are correct.* Proper pH and disinfectant levels help stop the spread of germs in the water. Virginia pool regulations require free chlorine and bromine residuals and pH values and temperature to be continuously maintained within the following ranges:
For added protection, be sure to check for:
- Drain at the bottom of the deep end is visible. Crystal-clear water allows lifeguards and other swimmers to clearly see swimmers underwater.
- Drain covers at the bottom appear to be secured and in good repair.
- Lifeguard is on duty. If not, safety equipment, such as a rescue ring or pole, is available.
If you find any problems during inspection, do NOT get into the water. Tell the person in charge so the problems can be fixed.
*Use test strips to test pH and free chlorine or bromine concentration. Most superstores, hardware stores, and pool-supply stores sell test strips. Follow the manufacturer’s directions.
Learn more by visiting the CDC's Healthy Swimming webpage.