How to Throw a Safe Kids’ Pool Party

Family with kids in a pool smiling, with caption "How to throw a safe kids' pool party"

By Dana Robinson

Children who were born during the warm spring and summer months routinely experience a perk that fall and winter babies have only dreamed of—annual birthday pool parties!

These fortunate kids have the luxury of mixing their birthday celebrations with cannonball dives and games of Marco Polo. But along with all of the sun and fun comes the additional threat of pool-related mishaps, like injuries or even drowning. Parents can help mitigate these threats by following a few simple rules:

Designate a Water Watcher

Safe Kids Worldwide, an organization that strives to help families and communities keep kids safe from injuries, recommends having a designated Water Watcher when children are swimming near adults. A Water Watcher is an adult who agrees to keep a close eye on the kids in the water, without distractions, and wear a Water Watcher tag. After a designated amount of time (15-20 minutes), the card is passed to another adult, who is responsible for supervising the kids. This allows all of the adults to share in the fun of the party, as well as the responsibility for the children’s safety.

To designate an official Water Watcher at your next kids’ pool party, download the Water Watcher tag here.

Learn CPR

Accidents happen, and you just never know when cardio-pulmonary resuscitation can help save a child’s life. If a child is drowning his/her heart could stop beating. CPR is used to keep oxygenated blood flowing, which helps keep vital organs alive. The American Heart Association believes that keeping the blood flow active extends the opportunity for a successful resuscitation once trained medical staff arrive.

To find a CPR certification class in your area, click here. Classes may also be available at a local community college or university.

Establish the Rules Early On

Before the kids jump into the pool it’s a good idea to sit them down for a minute or two and go over a few safety rules. Misty Selph, program developer, and Jennifer White, swim school specialist, at the Starfish Aquatics Institute, recommend establishing the following rules:

  • No running
  • Jump in feet first
  • No pushing or shoving
  • No holding others under the water
  • Look before you jump in the water to make sure that it’s clear of people and toys

Know Your Swimmers

Selph and White also recommend that the adults who are hosting the party know the swimming ability of the children attending. Non-swimmers need to wear a Coast Guard-approved life jacket because, sadly, inflatable water wings can easily come off or deflate and put children at risk. Parents either need to bring their own lifejackets or make sure that the host is providing them.

Make Sure the Pool is Clean and Clear

Cloudy pool water can be caused by a number of things, including improper chlorine and pH balance–issues that can usually be remedied by adding the right mix of chemicals to the water. But cloudy water is not only unattractive to the eye; it can also be extremely dangerous. The cloudy haze of the water makes it all but impossible to see if a child is slowly sinking to the to bottom of the pool or is in any other kind of danger. So, make sure to keep that pool clean and clear before those party invitations go out.

Pool Scouts is here to clean up before and after your pool party! Be sure to give us a call to help out this party season!

 

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How To Avoid Sunburn

Mom putting sunscreen on her daughter near the pool

By Dana Robinson

Where would we be without the sun? Cold, pale and starving, that’s where. The sun is the source of all life on this planet, and mild exposure to its plentiful rays can help boost your immune system and make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside. However, too much sun can result in a myriad of problems, including sunburn. And as the swim season gets underway you and your family are even more prone to the dangers of sun exposure. But don’t fret. Human ingenuity has created ways for all of us to enjoy everything that the outdoors has to offer without the side effects of scorched skin. So, you can enjoy your time at the pool, the park, the ocean or the camping grounds, and still return home with the fresh, healthy skin that you left with.

Preventing Sunburns

Sunburns are arguably the top hazard of spending too much time outdoors in warm weather (bug bites and profuse sweating are tied for second place.) These burns are not only irritating to the touch, but they can result in blistering, peeling skin and eventually lead to skin cancer. “Unprotected skin will burn in about 10-30 minutes, depending on the time of day, your skin type, and your altitude,” says Dr. Janet H. Prystowsky, board certified dermatologist. “By the time you notice warning signs, like redness, sensitivity, and warm skin, you’re likely well on your way to being sunburnt.”

To reduce your chances of too much sun exposure you could hide indoors all summer or seek refuge under a shady tree or canopy–but that’s hardly the way to make the most of the summer season. Your best line of defense against a sunburn, during the summer or any time of the year, is wearing sunscreen.

What Kind?

Prystowsky recommends using a formula that is water-resistant and contains zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide, which block both UVA and UVB radiation. She also recommends using a formula that has an SPF of 30-50. Yes, there are sunscreens on the market that offer SPF levels up to 100, but “after SPF 50, the difference in protection becomes less significant,” she says. “SPF 100 is not twice as protective as SPF 50. The real determining factor of protection is applying enough and reapplying frequently.”

How Much?

Sunscreen should be reapplied every two hours or after swimming or sweating. And be sure to apply that sunscreen all over your body. “Even if you are wearing a shirt, put sunscreen on underneath,” says Prystowsky. She also notes that the ears, ankles, feet, and the back of your neck are places that are often overlooked–so don’t forget to slather it on in those areas as well. And if you think that you’ve applied enough sunscreen then you should still probably apply more. Prystowsky notes that the American Academy of Dermatology recommends using enough sunscreen to fill a shot glass, but that most people only use half that amount. So, keep on slathering until your entire body is covered. After all, you never can have too much protection.

Pool Scouts likes to help our clients maximize their fun in the sun. So, if you agree to keep your skin safe from the sun’s harmful rays, we’ll agree to provide you with a clean, sparkling pool to jump into all season long.

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‘Tis the Season of Giving: 5 Pool Gifts Under $20

Pool Scouts Gift Giving Ideas

Pool Scouts Gift Ideas Under $20

Written by guest author: Miranda Lindsey

It may be winter, but the pool fun doesn’t have to stop completely. This holiday season opt for gifts that can make summer a little more fun with LED lights, pool floats and accessories. Amazon sells a wide range of pool items that make last minute gifts for your favorite pool enthusiast.

Submersible LED Lights Several companies offer waterproof, battery operated lights that can work for more than just the pool. This gift will definitely be a conversation starter at your next barbecue with RGB multi-color changing lights powered by a wireless remote control.

Giant Pool Floaty Pool Scouts Gift Ideas Under $20

Giant Pool Floaty Perfect for the for the pool leisure devotee in your life. This 6-foot inflatable comes with a repair kit to extend it life, which makes it the perfect present for families with kids. This floaty is available in a variety of styles like pineapple, pizza, and swan, make gift giving personal.

Inflatables for Baby Pool Scouts Gift Ideas Under $20

Inflatables for Baby This is makes a great gift for expecting families. Parents can relax with baby safely in the pool with inflatable canopy rings. This style offers and extra layer of protection for the sun in addition to special design that let baby float freely.

Electric Air Pump The textbook for the family that always has the neighborhood kids in the pool. Help Dad’s lungs out by getting him this electric pump that fills the pools toys up in seconds. This functional gift can be used outside of the back yard of camping or boat trips with high powered pressure and low noise levels.

Pool Scouts Gift Ideas Under $20

Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker This mini speaker makes a great gift for the family who lives outdoors. This gizmo packs a powerful punch with 8-hours of battery life, universal compatibility, and the ability to be completely submerged for 30 minutes without being damaged! The speaker downright convenient making it a great gift for hikers, campers, and travelers alike.

Here at Pool Scouts, we think about pools year-round. These make gifts make great additions to any of our services and make perfect place holders for the off season. Make sure to check your local Pool Scouts for promotions and services. Happy Holidays!


ABOUT POOL SCOUTS

Pool Scouts is a premier pool service franchise focused on delivering a quality, consistent brand experience while providing pool cleaning, maintenance and minor repair services at residential properties. Technicians are trained in testing, monitoring, treating and servicing pools and can provide ongoing service as well as help at the beginning and end of the summer season. Growing from its first location in Virginia Beach, Pool Scouts offers a great opportunity as a low cost franchise in the pool services industry with available territories across the United States. For more information or franchising opportunities, visit PoolScoutsFranchise.com.

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The 2016 Election Reminds Us What Veterans Serve and Fight For

Veterans Day 2016 Pool Scouts

The 2016 election has just wrapped up and the results have the world in shock. The message from the media and the current administration is that elections (even ones as historic as this one) are what democracy is all about and to never under estimate the power that comes with that. The freedom to vote is a privilege and an honor, one that we can thank men and women in uniform for protecting. Appropriately, this week rounds out with Veterans Day, so let’s not forgot whose time, efforts and sacrifice afford us the opportunity to vote for whom we chose and continue to live a life of freedom and prosperity.

The Pool Scouts headquarters resides in Virginia Beach, VA is right down the street from the world’s largest naval bases. Team members from operations like our Chief Operating Officer, Brian Garrison, down to some of our Pool Technicians, Ralph and David, have all served in the Navy. Beyond those who have served themselves, we have many teammates whose family members are currently in the service, so many of the employees here understand the sacrifices service men and women make for our country.

As Veterans Day approaches, I urge you to not only remember all veterans’ service, but also take a moment to ask them their story. Even the simple question of ‘why they chose to serve’ could be enlightening for you, and show your thanks by hearing their story.

My mom is a veteran, and although I know it wasn’t always easy for her, I smile when I think about the stories she tells. The time she spent serving our country wasn’t without great stories we are all still telling! Upon Veterans Pool Scoutscompleting nursing school in the middle of the Vietnam War, my mom enlisted as a Lieutenant in the Army. A nurse trained in acute, critical care, her first station was in Alaska. The first story I remember fondly is about her deployment. In typical military fashion, her deployment date was moved up which meant she also had to move up her wedding date with my dad. She shipped out two days after the wedding! The day she was to fly out, there was a terrible storm. While she was waiting to see if they were going to wait out the storm or take off, the pilot approached her and asked her for the orders. She was totally surprised and immediately told them they should ask someone else. Turns out, she was the ranking officer and the decision was hers. So they took off, typical of my mom to go for it! I’m immensely grateful for her service and dedication!

My mom is just one example of how our service men and women commit and adjust during their time in the service. I am in awe of the tenacity she and so many others have and had to enlist in the midst of wartimes. There are so many amazing and interesting stories to glean from our veterans. So this Veterans Day, take a moment to thank those in your life who are serving or have served. Learn more about their experiences and be proud to know such strong individuals who represent our country!

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Meet-A-Scout: Gabe Jensen, Lead Technician a.k.a. “ScoutInstructor”

**Our “Meet a Scout” blog series introduces you to one of the people that make Pool Scouts great. We’ll offer you a little insight into the members of our team, where they are from and what makes them tick!**

Meet-A-Scout: Gabe Jensen

For this round of “Meet A Scout” we’re introducing you to Gabe Jensen, Lead Pool Technician and “Scout Instructor!”  Gabe came to Pool Scouts from Florida in the very early days of the business and has been an invaluable part of the team since. As our resident Certified Pool Operator, Gabe brings a rich background of experience and skills. He has over 15 years of experience in the pool industry, and quite literally grew up in the business. Gabe’s family owns and operates a retail pool business and Gabe spent many hours at a young age learning about the trade. In addition to being our “Scout Instructor”, he is affectionately known as Scout MacGyver. Gabe can fix, patch, or build almost anything from the most obscure objects! One of his recent masterpieces is a Gabe original filter, built and installed on one of our customer’s pools that just wasn’t clearing. It worked like a charm!

At Pool Scouts, Gabe oversees and trains all local staff along with training franchise owners and their own staff. Even with all his years of experience, Gabe would be the first to admit that he, too, continues to learn about the complexities of the pool business and furthers his education by staying abreast of new information and developments in the industry.

We stole a few minutes of Gabe’s time to get to know him better.

What led you to work for Pool Scouts?

The Opportunity! My entire (almost) working career has been based around the pool industry. I love the industry and want to make an impact on how business should be conducted. I think we have the best vision and can remove the stigma that most associate with our industry.

What is your favorite part about your position at Pool Scouts?

I love the opportunity to train new franchisees about our trade. Our business is so dynamic that it is impossible to learn it overnight, but progress is overwhelming.

gabe cleaning pool | Pool Scouts, Virginia Beach

What are the biggest strengths professionally that you bring to the Pool Scouts team?

Experience, skill, passion for the industry, a sense of humor and a big heart (Gabe would never write this about himself so I added it in).

If you could donate $1 million to any charity, which charity would it be and why?

Autism Speaks, I have a personal connection to this cause and stand behind this organization’s efforts.

If you were shipwrecked, what three items would you want to land on shore with you?

Lighter, Knife, Shovel (That is all he would need to build a boat and MacGyver his way back to civilization!)

If you could invite three people to a party, dead or alive, who would they be and why?

Any of the Minnesota Vikings!

What’s your favorite room in your house and why?

The Bathroom – quietest room in the house (three boys in the house…their mom is fully out-numbered).

What’s one thing most people don’t know about you?

I grew up wanting to fly planes and even considered joining the Navy to fly fighter jets but unfortunately couldn’t do so because of a heart condition. I’ve begun the process to get my pilot’s license and look forward to completing it!

 

ABOUT POOL SCOUTS

Virginia Beach, VA-based Pool Scouts is a premier pool service franchise focused on delivering a quality, consistent brand experience while providing pool cleaning, maintenance and minor repair services at residential properties. Technicians are trained in testing, monitoring, treating and servicing pools and can provide ongoing service as well as help at the beginning and end of the summer season. Growing from its first location in Virginia Beach, Pool Scouts offers a great opportunity as a low cost franchise in the pool services industry with available territories across the United States. For more information or franchising opportunities, visit PoolScoutsFranchise.com.

 

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Meet a Scout – Jennifer Young, Scout Captain

**Our “Meet a Scout” blog series introduces you to one of the people that make Pool Scouts great. We’ll offer you a little insight into the members of our team, where they are from and what makes them tick!**

 

MEET A SCOUT – Jennifer Young, Scout Captain (aka. Troop Leader, Local Operations Manager)

For our inaugural “Meet A Scout” post we are featuring a team member who goes by two names, Scout Captain, Troop Leader and Local Operations Manager, Jennifer Young.

For those of you in the Virginia Beach/Norfolk area, you know Jen as our courteous, sharp, efficient and competent main point of contact you speak with on the other end of the phone when you call about your pool.
For franchisees across the country, you jen-photo-3know her as your go-to for all things office management, from scheduling and accounting to inventory and materials.

But to get to know Jennifer better, we stole a few moments with her to learn more about what makes her tick and how she spends her time away from work.

What led you to work for Pool Scouts? After 8 years, I was feeling a little bored with my previous job. It was time for a change and I wanted to use the knowledge and experience gained from my previous experience to go out on a limb (or step out of my comfort zone) and help start a business in an industry I was not familiar with. While I’m not a risk taker, this role leverages the skills and experience I have gained throughout my career, and that gave me the confidence to know I was up for the task.

What is your favorite part about your position at Pool Scouts? The seasonality of the business is appealing. The winters are slower and it allows me to spend more time with my kids as well as cart them around to their extra curricular activities.

What are the biggest strengths professionally that you bring to the Pool Scouts team? Focus. Keeping the goal at hand in the forefront of my mind when making difficult decisions. Staying on track to get various tasks completed while multitasking is a daily challenge, one that I am up for.

What’s your favorite Pool Scouts tagline and why? “The Cannonball contest is back on, people!” Whenever I read it or hear someone say it, to me it screams “we’re about to have some fun in the sun.”
There’s a bit of mystery around who is the original Pool Scout. If you were to choose one person or character (real or fictional) to represent/personify Pool Scouts, who would it be? Me, because I’m kind of a big deal.

If you had to pick one song as your “theme song” what would it be? I have never really given much thought to what would be my theme song. I know that Another One Bites the Dust by Queen is the song I want playing at my funeral. I guess for my theme song I would go with Happy by Pharrell because it’s very positive and uplifting.

If you could invite three people to a party, dead or alive, who would they be and why? George Harrison, Susan Tedeski and my dad.jen-photo-2

If you were shipwrecked, what three items would you want to land on shore with you? Toothbrush, lighter, and a blanket. At the end of the night I like to have a clean mouth and somewhere warm and cozy to sleep.

You were just given a yacht. What would you name it? First I would have to learn how to drive a boat, then I would name it “Watch Out!”

If you could plan your ultimate vacation, where would you go? Hawaii. I’ve actually been planning and saving for a couple years. Looking to go next summer with my kids, of course after pool opening season is over.

 

ABOUT POOL SCOUTS

Virginia Beach, VA-based Pool Scouts is a premier pool service franchise focused on delivering a quality, consistent brand experience while providing pool cleaning, maintenance and minor repair services at residential properties. Technicians are trained in testing, monitoring, treating and servicing pools and can provide ongoing service as well as help at the beginning and end of the summer season. Growing from its first location in Virginia Beach, Pool Scouts offers a great opportunity as a low cost franchise in the pool services industry with available territories across the United States. For more information or franchising opportunities, visit PoolScoutsFranchise.com.

 

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Home is where the heart is, even on Labor Day!

Every year, summer is punctuated with our country celebrating Labor Day. It acts as a period on the end of our summer sentence. Labor Day, the “workingmen’s holiday” is celebrated the first Monday in September. According to the United State Labor Department, Labor Day “is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers.” It’s a national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well being of our country.

The first Labor Day holiday was celebrated on Tuesday, September 5, 1882, in New York City, in accordance with the plans of the Central Labor Union. The Central Labor Union held its second Labor Day holiday just a year later, on September 5, 1883. (source: https://www.dol.gov/general/laborday/history)

Modern Labor Day tradition includes backyard bbq’s, pool parties, road trips, and quality time spent with friends and family. However, each year we’ve seen that more and more spend a portion of the weekend sitting in traffic to getting from point A to point B. So why not stay home and spend that time in your own backyard, especially if you have a pool?

This Labor Day, we suggest you put the keys back in the bowl, unpack your bags and spend some quality time at home. Here are some compelling reasons to do so:

  • Avoid the inevitable aggravation of holiday traffic
  • Save money on traveling and gas
  • More time to spend relaxing instead of packing and traveling
  • Be a star and host friends and family at your house
  • Kick back and have fun in the pool for one last summer weekend
  • One of my favorites, have more time to get some stuff done around the house

Here at Pool Scouts, the majority of us decided to stay put for the reasons listed above. But the number one reason being it means more time to relax!

Should you choose to take advantage of your back yard and spend time in the pool, top off your day with this easy, but delicious grilled peach dessert recipe from Fitness Magazine:

  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegarScreen Shot 2016-09-02 at 5.21.31 PM
  • 2 teaspoons dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 large just-ripe freestone peaches, halved and pitted
  • 2 teaspoons canola oil
  • 2 teaspoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 6 scoops low-fat vanilla frozen yogurt

Directions:

In a small saucepan, bring the vinegar and sugar to a boil. Reduce heat to low; simmer until reduced by half and slightly syrupy, about 10 minutes. Stir in the vanilla and black pepper. Cover with foil and set aside.

Heat a grill to medium. Brush cut side of the peaches with the canola oil and cook cut side down until nicely grill marked, 2 to 3 minutes. Give peaches a quarter turn and grill 1 to 2 minutes more for crosshatch marks. Flip over and brush tops with the melted butter. Grill cut side up until tender, 3 to 4 minutes more.

Arrange a peach half in each of 6 serving dishes and top with a scoop of frozen yogurt. Drizzle syrup over the top.

Nutrition Information

Servings Per Recipe: 6
PER SERVING: 199 cal., 6 g total fat (3 g sat. fat), 34 g carb. (2 g fiber), 5 g pro.

http://www.fitnessmagazine.com/recipe/ice-cream/grilled-balsamic-peaches-and-frozen-yogurt/

As always, time spent by the pool means that you must keep safety top of mind. Please remember to have a designated person watching the pool at all times and that everyone knows the rules of the pool!

We hope you enjoy your Labor Day weekend and find time to relax with family and friends regardless of where you decide to spend it!

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It’s A Love-Hate Thing

I have a love-hate relationship with the end of the summer. While it has been nice to enjoy some beach time, to spend weekends barbecuing, and not have to worry about my kids getting their homework done, there is comfort in welcoming back the routine of the school year (and pumpkin flavored EVERYTHING!)

enjoy some beach time to spend weekendsFor pool owners around the country, closing the pool is one of the many items on the fall to-do list. For me, it is at the bottom of the list, as I like to leave the pool open as long as possible in the hopes of those Indian Summer days. Well Gizmo, the Pool Scouts mascot, is here to tell us that procrastinating the pool closing is okay…at least for a little while!

The best time to close the pool is when the temperatures start dropping.  This will stave off algae growth and help keep the water in better condition throughout the winter months. While it is okay milk those last few days of warm weather that fall sometimes affords us, you do want to make sure you winterize your pool before the temperatures drop too low. Otherwise, the system could sustain damage, like cracked pipes.

In warmer climates, it is okay to leave your pool uncovered, but your pool will still require some maintenance. Your pool water will still need to be balanced, and the filter system will need to be monitored to ensure upkeep and proper operation.

Pool Scouts can help prep your pool for the winter months. Whether you decide to bundle your pool up for winter or keep the pool open, our technicians can prep your pool for spring success!

Some key steps involved in closing pools includes:

  • Remove all leaves and debris from the pool
  • Vacuum the pool
  • Backwash the filter system
  • Lower water to the appropriate level
  • Test water and add wintering chemicals as needed
  • Drain, disassemble and clean filter elements for storage
  • Drain pump and heater
  • Plug returns and skimmers
  • Remove and store deck equipment (ladders and handrails ect…)
  • Inspect and Install the winter cover
  • Blow off pool deck area and equipment pad

Some steps for preparing your pool to remain open in colder months:

  • Balance the water
  • Double check and monitor filter system
  • Shift chemicals and timers for winter months
  • Confirm and/or tweak maintenance schedule for the winter

As usual, this summer flying by, and before we know it, Labor Day will be upon us. While the change of seasons brings new adventures and an abundance of holidays to celebrate, we’ll long for the long, hot days of summer when that first cold day hits! While you too, will have a list of to-dos as we head into fall, be sure to plan ahead and cross “take care of pool” off your list. It isn’t too soon to reach out to Pool Scouts to schedule your pool closing!  Visit Poolscouts.com for more information or call 844-SPLASH-2 (844-775-2742).

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Sit Back and Relax this Father’s Day!

Let me introduce myself.  My name is Brooks, and I am lucky to be working at Pool Scouts this summer as I prepare to enter my final year of college. I’ve been given the opportunity to share my thoughts with you, our blog readers, and I thought what better time to do that than Father’s Day!

Brooks'-familyThis year, Father’s Day marks the beginning of summer, the best time of year for outdoor social events!  Kids are out of school, the weather is pleasant, and family and friends are ready to have some fun.  If you have a pool as well, it’s vitally important to keep it safe and well-maintained so that it’s capable of hosting summer birthdays, holidays, or casual parties. Pool parties foster a unique sense of community and togetherness, so you want to be ready to roll! Recently, my family invested in a pool for our backyard, and it’s brought us endless summer fun already!  Lounging by the pool, hosting a cookout, competing in a diving board contest, or playing water volleyball or basketball are all opportunities to enjoy summer by the pool.

Father’s Day gives us even more reason to celebrate this time of year as we reflect on all that fathers do.  My own father has been extremely influential for me and my two younger brothers.  Our family grew up swimming competitively and spending a lot of time at the beach surfing, swimming, and relaxing. In other words, we’ve bonded in and around wat
er. The recent installment of our family pool has given us another reason to spend more time together. I look forward to another great summer with my father and family, where we grow closer just by stepping outside.

This Father’s Day, remove the burden of pool maintenance and say, “I love you” with a perfectly prepared pool to enjoy together. Pool Scouts will prepare your pool for a memorable summer with friends and family by providing a clean pool deck, crystal clear water, and regular maintenance.  So when Pool Scouts takes care of your pool, Dad can sit back and relax.

A few additional gift suggestions to use in the pool with Dad:floating golf green

  • Floating Table Tennis
  • Floating Golf Green
  • Floating Corn Hole
  • Remote Control Snack and Drink Float

*All of these items and more are available on Amazon.com!

Father’s Day is the perfect time to show your dad how much he means to you. A perfectly clean pool is a special gift because it gives Dad not only time for himself, but time to spend with his family all summer long. Pool Scouts is dedicated to superior maintenance and cleaning, where perfect pools are our priority. A beautifully clean pool means a summer well spent with friends, family, and most importantly, our DADS!

Check out more about the Pool Scouts services, and call (844)-775-2742 today to give your dad the gift of a perfect pool!

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Pool Safety Extends to the Technical Side of Pool Care

May is water safety month. Last week we talked a lot about swimmer safety, which is of the utmost importance, but there is another side of pool safety that extends to the care and maintenance of the pool itself. Keeping your pool clean, healthy and swim-ready takes time, tools, and chemicals. In a world where organic reigns king it is sometimes tough to think about allowing your kids swim in a pool full of chemicals, but when properly maintained and balanced pool water is perfectly safe.

Handling and working with pool chemicals and equipment takes a certain level of care and expertise. There are hidden dangers that can injure or create health concerns for inexperienced pool owners. Gizmo, our Pool Scouts mascot and this month safety scout is here to talk more about the details.

Gizmo’s Guidance on the Technical Side of Pool Care:Scuba Pup

There are several aspects of pool maintenance that can present risks. The following are some of the substances and situations to consider when caring for your pool:

  • Muriatic acid
  • Chlorine
  • Diatomaceous earth
  • Main drain suction
  • Vacuum ports
  • Exposed wires and GFCI outlets

You may be familiar with some of these items listed but others you may not be aware of the risks. So let’s break it down.

Muriatic Acid. Muriatic acid is highly corrosive and can cause problem when it comes in contact with the skin or is inhaled. It is important to wear glove and safety goggles with handling the substance. Only work with muriatic acid in a well ventilated area and do not mix it with other chemicals without reading the label; it may be explosive! The good news is, once diluted, like in a pool, the substance is safe.

Chlorine. Chlorine is a powerful disinfectant and bleaching agent that can present a number of hazards. Chlorine is most hazardous when fumes are inhaled or if the substance gets into your eyes, mouth or throat.  Similar to muriatic acid, it is always a good idea to where protective wear, eye glasses and a mask, when working with chlorine. Also, be mindful of how you store chlorine. Always make sure the storage area is well ventilated, that the substance isn’t located next to a direct heat source, and that the container cannot tip over. When cleaning with chlorine, be sure to read the label first, as it can react to other substances. For example, chlorine mixed with ammonia can create a violent reaction. 

Diatomaceous Earth. Diatomaceous earth is another chemical used aid filtration in your pool, and while it is one of the least aggressive substances used, when inhaled in large amounts it can cause long-term lung problems. When handling DE you should always wear a mask to protect your respiratory system.

Main Drain Suction. While the main drain doesn’t impact someone caring for your pool,it would be remiss of us not to talk about the safety concerns with the drain system in your pool. The main drain, typically at the deepest point of your pool, runs suction that helps to keep your pool clean. In the event that a swimmer lies on top of or sits on the cover of the main drain and covers it completely, their body could become stuck and they might not be able to get to the surface because the suction is too strong. One incident sited that four men were unable to release a young girl from the pull of the drain. Very scary stuff. The good news is that they have developed drain covers that prevent someone from completely covering the drain and getting stuck. Additionally, the Pool And Spa Safety Act has guidelines that require pool professionals to alert pool owners of outdated covers and update them immediately. As a pool owner, it is important that you make sure you have an updated drain cover, keep scissors by the pool to release clothing or hair that may get caught in the system and if someone should get trapped, pull on one side of their body at a time to release the suction.

Vacuum Ports. Vacuum ports in the pool system can also be hazardous. These can be located in your  skimmer basket but also on the wall of your pool. The port located on the wall can present a similar risk for entrapment to that of the main drain suction. Breathe a sigh of relief, because this can be easily rectified by fitting the port with a safety latched cover. Simply remove the old fitting by unscrewing it and and thread the new one onto the port. DONE.

GFI Outlets and Exposed Wires. Pool systems run on electricity, and because the pool area is a place of entertainment, there can be outlet near by. It is incredibly important that all outlet by the pool are Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) outlets. GFCI outlets trip and cut power when the line is exposed to water. Similarly, when completing repairs to the pool system, it is important to cut power and make sure all wires are properly insulated and in good shape to avoid any risk of electrocution.

Pools are a place of fun and relaxation but their are risks involve in owning and maintaining a pool. The best defense is education and knowledge. I hope we’ve provided you with some background on keeping your pool safe.

Pool Scouts technicians are trained on handling all these situations and keeping your pool water clear and healthy and your pool area a safe place to be. Take a moment to ensure your pool and surrounding area are up to date and get out there and enjoy that pool!

Pool Scouts is a pool service company offering recurring, single service, opening, closing and minor pool repair service. 

 

 

 

 

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