Keeping the Kids Paddling Pool a Healthy Place to Play

Keeping the Kids Paddling Pool a Healthy Place to Play

Having a paddling pool set up for the kids in the summer is a great idea. It keeps them amused and active and can cool them down on those really hot days. Add a sun shade or umbrella to keep them from burning in the sun and you have the makings or a perfect summer’s day.

But what happens to the water in the pool if you leave it out for a few days?

Ideally, it is suggested that the pool is emptied after each use (children often urinate in the water), especially if it is not filtered. A larger pool can be drained and cleaned every week. If you do not want to drain the pool water too often then you may keep a cover on it to avoid unwanted debris, bugs, bird droppings. In addition, as standing water works as a breeding ground for microbes, you may want to maintain chlorine sanitation in the pool water using chlorine tablets. Those who do not like to use chlorine can use household bleach, baking soda, and borax.

Household bleach generally has 5-10% chlorine. You may use 2.5 teaspoons for every 100 gallons of water.

Baking soda (half a teaspoon for 26 gallons of water) helps increase the total alkalinity of the water. Borax (half a teaspoon for 26 gallons of water) works as an algaecide.

Test the pool’s pH and chlorine level from time to time. The pH should be within the range of 7.2 to 7.8. Chlorine level should be between 1.0 – 3.0 ppm. It is essential to maintain proper a pH level because it affects chlorine’s effectiveness in killing the germs. Moreover, it helps minimise eye and skin irritation. Plus, it is suggested to add an algaecide, too, as it can help control certain bacteria, particularly the ones that are resistant to chlorine.

If there is cloudy water in the pool, you can either drain and refill the pool or treat it with bleach and chlorine.

When you do decide it’s time to clean the pool, empty all the water including mopping up the dregs with rags. Create a simple and effective homemade cleaning solution by mixing water and bleach in the ratio of 5:1. So, add one part of bleach in five parts of water. Alternatively, you may use a combination of equal parts of white vinegar and water. Clean the inside of the pool by putting a little solution in the pool at a time and scrubbing the pool walls and floor with a scrub brush or pool brush.

Make sure you clean the slippery sides properly as they are caused by biofilm-causing bacteria and algae. Rinse well to remove the bleach. You may consider sprinkling vitamin C powder (one teaspoon for 200 gallons) in the pool and swishing it around to neutralize chlorine. Then refill with clean water.

Before cleaning the pool, make sure you check the manufacturer’s instructions on the type of detergents and cleaners that can be used safely.


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