JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Fun in the sun this weekend could spell out trouble in the pool. Safety experts reminding parents to be extra careful and alert with children around pool and water. Nearly 300 young children die in pools in the U.S. every year... thousands more are injured. But sometimes the biggest problem comes from what we can't see... lurking in the pool.
Little kids know what it takes to stay safe at the pool. "You have to have a life jacket on and your parents have to be out there with you," four-year-old Julia Bennett said.
But a life jacket isn't going to protect you from what could be lurking in the water.
"Be concerned; be cautious. People have even died from these parasites if they're not taken care of," LPN of NEA Urgent Care Katie Hartshorn said.
There are simple things parents can do to watch out for it, too.
"Definitely don't swim in murky water. The most important thing for you to do as a parent is make sure your children and clean and make sure the area around the pool is clean," Hartshorn said.
And that's what mother Sherri Bennett is doing to look out for her two little ones at the pool this year. "We always try to keep a close eye and usually the lifeguards are really good about doing their job, and if there's ever an issue, they're really good about blowing the whistle to get people out," Bennett said.
But is it enough when going to a community pool? Many people mistake the *smell of chlorine to automatically mean that the pool is clean. That's mistake number one to pool expert Nick Ellis.
"Usually if you smell chlorine, your chlorine isn't very active because of the combined chlorine that's there," Ellis said.
The CDC says that when swimmers sweat or urinate in pool water, the body fluids combine with chlorine... which can cause a strange chemical odor causing eye and respiratory irritations for swimmers. But you can prevent it if you have the right tools.
"So what you can do is accurate water tests and keep it sanitary, keep it balanced, and you should be good," said Ellis.