Pools, Hot Tubs and Splash Pads

When pools, hot tubs and splash pads are not properly cared for, they can become unsafe. Water that isn’t properly disinfected can make us sick and facilities and equipment that are not properly maintained can cause injuries.

Who’s at Risk?

While everyone is at risk of waterborne illness and injury, some people are more vulnerable than others. Children, older adults and people with chronic health conditions are more likely to get sick than others because their bodies aren’t as good at fighting off germs.

Children, particularly young children, are at greater risk of suffering water-related injuries and drownings. This is usually because of a lack of supervision.

Things You Can Do
Practice Pool Safety at Home

Pools and hot tubs that aren’t properly disinfected can make you sick. Sadly, backyard pool drownings are a common cause of death in children. Protect yourself and others by practising pool safety at home:

  • Establish pool rules and make sure that children are always supervised around pools and hot tubs
  • Always keep children under 5 years old within arm’s reach around pools and hot tubs – drowning can happen in as little at 10 seconds
  • Restrict access to the pool or hot tub when not in use – for example, build a fence around the pool with a self-closing, lockable gate
  • Make sure children are wearing an approved lifejacket or personal flotation device when playing near water
  • Make sure pool and hot tub water is properly disinfected. Disinfectants like chlorine kill germs that can harm your health. Visit Health Canada for information on properly disinfecting pools and hot tubs.
  • Don’t go swimming if you are sick or if you have open sores
  • Don’t swallow pool water

Be Safe While Using Public Pools and Hot Tubs

What is a Public Pool?

CK Public Health inspects all public pools, hot tubs, splash pads and other recreational water facilities. A public pool is one that is available to members of the public. Examples of public pools include, but are not limited to, pools in:

  • Schools
  • Fitness facilities and athletic institutions
  • Recreational camps
  • Day camps
  • Child care centres
  • Treatment centres for people with special needs
  • Hotels and motels
  • Campgrounds
  • Clubs
  • Communities in which six or more dwelling units have access to the pool, including apartment buildings, mobile home parks, condominiums, co-ops and single-family homes
  • Public spas that are operated in conjunction with an individual dwelling or suite of a hotel for the exclusive use of its occupants are exempt from the legislation, but are required to post signage.

Our public health inspectors make sure that:

  • Water is properly disinfected
  • Facilities and equipment are properly maintained
  • Safety equipment is provided and safety procedures are followed
Ways to Protect Yourself

When you go swimming at a public pool or hot tub, reduce your risk of getting sick or hurt and protect others:

  • Before you go, check the inspection report on Check it CK
  • Always shower with soap before entering a pool or hot tub – showering removes lotion, natural body oils and germs that can contaminate the pool
  • Don’t go swimming if you are sick or if you have open sores
  • Don’t go swimming if you have had diarrhea in the past two weeks
  • Don’t pee in the pool! Take frequent bathroom breaks and wash your hands after
  • Don’t swallow pool water
  • Follow pool rules
  • Do not play with safety equipment
  • If you have kids in diapers, check their diaper every 30-60 minutes and change it if needed
Report a Concern

If you think you got sick from a pool or recreational water facility, see your health care provider. It is important to avoid swimming if you are sick to prevent others from getting sick.

You can always report concerns about pools and recreational water facilities to CK Public Health. A public health inspector will follow up with you.