- The Washington Times - Saturday, June 4, 2005

Summer is here, and many area pools have opened their doors to splash-happy vacationing youngsters. But pool fun easily can turn sour if young swimmers — and their parents — don’t adhere to high hygienic standards.

“If someone has an accident, the pool has to be cleared immediately,” says Jack Mohr, an environmental health specialist with the Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services.

“Accident” refers to the appearance of fecal matter, which a pool operator has to remove from the pool immediately. The operator also must adjust chlorine levels to make sure the water is disinfected in the wake of the accident, Mr. Mohr says.

“While they’re doing that, the pool is closed, anywhere from 20 minutes to a whole day,” Mr. Mohr says.

Contaminated water can lead to eye, nose and ear infections, rashes, and diarrhea, he says.

To avoid health hazards and closures, he recommends the following:

• Parents should not take their children to the pool if they are ill, including if they have summer colds or any type of stomach upset.

• Parents and children always should take a shower using soap before entering the pool.

• Always shower after participating in poolside sports, such as volleyball. Even if the body is clean, the sweat will “use up” the pool’s much-needed and carefully regulated chlorine.

• Instruct children not to swallow water.

• Use tight-fitting rubber pants on top of diapers to make sure there is no leakage.

• Always change diapers in the bathroom — not poolside. Afterward, always wash hands with soap and water.

• Take children on frequent bathroom breaks.

If swimmers follow these rules, everyone is more likely to have a rewarding and incident-free swimming experience, Mr. Mohr says.

“All of this is really just common-sense stuff,” Mr. Mohr says. “But you wouldn’t believe how often people come to [a] pool when they’re sick [or] have diarrhea.”

Now through the end of June, before families go on vacation, is the most popular time for pool visits, at least at Montgomery County public pools, he says, adding that he is keeping his fingers crossed for an incident-free month.

“It would be nice. No one wants the pool to close.”

More info:

The following is a list of outdoor public pools in the Greater Washington area. Most pools opened over the Memorial Day weekend, but some District pools will open in mid-June.

MARYLAND:

• Bethesda Pool, Little Falls Park and Hillandale Road, Bethesda. Phone: 301/652-1590. Web site: www.montgomerycountymd.gov. Fee: $4 to $7; after 5 p.m. $3.50 to $6.50. Hours: Noon to 6 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays through June 12. Starting June 13, the pool will be open from 1 to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday and noon to 8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

• Germantown Outdoor Pool, 18905 Kings View Drive, Germantown. Phone: 301/652-1598. Web site: www.montgomerycountymd.gov. Fee: $4 to $7; after 5 p.m. $3.50 to $6.50. Hours: Noon to 6 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays through June 12. Starting June 13, the pool will be open from 1 to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday and noon to 8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

• Wheaton/Glenmont Pool, 1201 Dalewood Drive, Wheaton. Phone: 301/929-5460. Web site: www.montgomerycountymd.gov. Fee: $4 to $7; after 5 p.m. $3.50 to $6.50. Hours: Noon to 6 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays through June 12. Starting June 13, the pool will be open from 1 to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday and noon to 8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

• Ellen Linson Swimming Pool, 5211 Paint Branch Parkway, College Park. Phone: 301/277-0654. Web site: www.pgparks.com. Fee: $4 to $6. Hours: 11:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. today. Starting Thursday, the pool will be open from 11:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 11:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

• J. Franklin Bourne Memorial Pool, 6500 Calmos St., Seat Pleasant. Phone: 301/350-4422. Web site: www.pgparks.com. Fee: $4 to $6. Hours: noon to 6 p.m. daily.

• Allentown Fitness & Splash Park, 7210 Allentown Road, Fort Washington. Phone: 301/449-5567. Web site: www.pgparks.com. Fee: $4 to $6. Hours: 12:30 to 7 p.m. on weekends through June 9. Starting June 10, the hours will be 12:30 to 7 p.m. daily.

VIRGINIA:

• Pohick Bay Regional Park, 6501 Pohick Bay Drive, Lorton. Phone: 703/339-6102. Web site: www.nvrpa.org. Fee: $2.75 to $5.25. Hours: 1 to 6:30 p.m. Friday and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday through June 18. From June 19 through Aug. 21, hours are 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 10:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Friday and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. From Aug. 22 through Sept. 5, hours are 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

• Upton Hill Regional Park, 6060 Wilson Blvd., Arlington. Phone: 703/534-3437. Web site: www.nvrpa.org. Fee: $2.75 to $5.25. Hours: 4 to 7 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Starting June 18, the pool is open from 10:30 to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Starting Aug. 22, the pool is open from 1 to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

• Bull Run Regional Park, 7700 Bull Run Drive, Centreville. Phone: 703/631-0552. Web site: www.nvrpa.org. Fee: $2.75 to $6. Call for hours of operation.

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA:

• East Potomac, Ohio Drive SW. Phone: 202/727-6523. Web site: www.dc.gov. Fee: $1 to $5. This pool opens today. Hours: 1 to 8 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday; noon to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday;

• Francis, 2500 N St. NW. Phone: 202/727-3285. Web site: www.dc.gov. Fee: $1 to $5. Hours: 1 to 8 p.m. Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday; noon to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

• Anacostia, 1800 Anacostia Drive SE. Phone: 202/724-1441. Web site: www.dc.gov. Fee: $1 to $5. Hours: 1 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday; noon to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

• Kelly Miller, 4900 Brooks St. NE. Phone: 202/724-5056. Web site: www.dc.gov. Fee: $1 to $5. This pool opens June 12. Hours: 1 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday; noon to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

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