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Fife Sports and Leisure Trust


Healthy Swimming Guidelines

Accidents do happen 

Sometimes people have 'accidents' in the swimming pools.

This can include babies with poorly fitting nappies, excitable children who can't wait to get to the toilet people who feel unwell and those in care of others.

Most of the time there will be nothing in the water which the chlorine can't deal with.

There is a possibility that someone who has been unwell, including upset stomachs or diarrhoea, could bring in a bug called cryptosporidium.

Cryptosporidium is present in the environment, commonly in grazing animals such as cows and sheep. It can find its way into people, then be passed from person to person.

The bug is resistant to chlorine at the levels used when people are swimming. If there has been an 'accident' which could have introduced it to the water we need to take action to remove it. This will need us to close the pool for some time - at least 14 hours.

The cleaning process 

If there has been an 'accident' in the pool, the first thing we will do is ask all bathers to leave the pool and use the showers. If the centre has other pools we may be able to allow swimming to continue in that other pool.

The affected pool will need to be treated for several hours (the length of time is different for each pool). This can include adding additional chemicals to the pool that we cannot use while people are swimming.

We will then need to clean the pool filtration system. As part of this process we will need to pour a lot of water down the drain. This will be replaced with fresh water.

Finally we will need to make sure that the water is chemically balanced again and warmed up ready for bathers.

Doing all this can take us between 14 and 24 hours and means our bathers cannot use the pools during this time. This affects all swimmers, our learn to swim programme and the many clubs who use our pools to train and develop their skills.

We also have to use more water and chemicals than usual.


You can help reduce closures 

In 2012-13, 'accidents' like this caused pools in Fife to be closed for 29 days.

The most important thing you can do to help us keep the water safe is to avoid swimming if you feel unwell, and especially if you have had sickness or diarrhoea in the last two weeks.

If the person in your care has special needs in this area ensure they are properly attired.

If your children are not fully potty trained, make sure that they are wearing well-fitting swim nappies. (On sale at reception)

Encourage young swimmers to use the toilets before they come in to the pool. Do the same yourself. Ensure they know to leave the pool to use the toilet before it is too late.

If you have problems with incontinence, make sure that you have suitable protection under your swimwear.

Even educating other members of the family on essential personal hygiene helps.

It is not just children who “have accidents”.

Use the showers before you enter the pool.

Use the toilets as you need to during your time with us. Wash your hands after using the toilet or changing nappies.

If you start to feel unwell during your swim, stop and leave the water.

If you do have an 'accident', let our lifeguards know straight away.

With your help we can reduce the number of times we need to close our pools to deal with 'accidents'.

We believe that swimming forms part of an active, healthy lifestyle and brings many benefits.

Please help us to keep the Pool water sparkling by:

  • Not eating for an hour or so before swimming
  • Using the toilets before you swim
  • Having a shower before entering the pool
  • Making sure that children who are not fully potty trained wear swim nappies (available from reception)
  • If needed use incontinence protection under bathing clothes

Much as we like to see you, there are times when you shouldn't swim:

  • If you are feeling unwell
  • If you have just eaten a meal or taken a fizzy drink
  • If you have had diarrhoea in the last two weeks
  • If you have any open wounds