But while splashing around in the garden might look like innocent fun, if not properly treated a paddling pool can harbour all sorts of germs and nasties.
Unfortunately there’s some disgusting secrets lurking in your paddling pool – but don’t worry, if you look after it properly and change the water regularly, you’ll be fine!
We’ve spoken to the experts for the common things to look out for that could be lurking in the paddling pool – and the top tips for keeping it clean…
Tim Sidebotham, Director of All Round Fun admitted that all sorts of ‘nasties’ can be lurking in paddling pools.
Meanwhile Joyce French from Homehow – said it’s really important to clean your paddling pool and empty it on a daily basis – to avoid bacteria.
She said: “As the warm weather settles in, more people are digging out their paddling pools to entertain the children in the family.
“If you are using a paddling pool regularly, it is important that you clean it and empty it on a daily basis. This is important to prevent bacteria from lurking in your paddling pool.”
DISGUSTING SECRETS THAT COULD BE LURKING IN YOUR PADDLING POOL
WASPS, BEES AND INSECTS
The experts have revealed one of the regular gross things you might find in your paddling pools, are creepy crawlies.
Tim admitted these insects – are off-putting and could mean that little ones end up getting stung.
He said: “All sorts of nasties can end up in your paddling pool water overnight, causing problems that range from a bit off-putting to downright dangerous.
“One of the most common issues is wasps and bees falling into the water.
“It can be very easy for someone (especially younger children) to end up grabbing or standing on one of these and ending up with a painful sting.”
Meanwhile Joyce added that paddling pools are attractive to insects such as horseflies, who are normally drawn towards stagnant water, especially when the weather is hot.
She said: “Unfortunately, this means there is an increased chance of bites, which can actually be deadly to some children and adults or cause pain, dizziness, shortness of breath, and a rush.”
And insects aren’t the only gross thing that could be joining you for a splash.
Expert Tim, from All Round Fun, said bird droppings are also likely to end up in the water if the paddling pool is left uncovered.
He said: “This is obviously a problem from a hygiene point of view, as they can carry unpleasant bacteria – and nobody wants to end up with bird poo in their hair or eyes!”
All Round Fun, a leading supplier of garden furniture and outdoor play equipment, including paddling pools, hot tubs and trampolines, added that twigs, litter and thorns are gross items often found lurking in paddling pools.
Their expert Tim commented: “It’s important to also keep an eye out for sharp items and debris that can fall into your pool.
“Thorns, twigs, and litter can all find their way into the water and can cause scratches and grazes to any little unsuspecting feet and knees jumping into the water.”
Meanwhile, a particularly gross secret that could be lurking in your swimming pool is disgusting algae.
Tim revealed if you’re leaving water in your paddling pool for too long, you will end up with algae covering the surface of the pool.
He said: “This can be dangerous as it’s not always immediately obvious and it can make the bottom of the pool incredibly slippery.
“If someone steps in a bit too quickly, or loses control of their footing, they can easily slip over and end up really hurting themselves.
“Even more seriously, algae contains toxins that if ingested can cause gastroenteritis, fever, vomiting, diarrhoea, and headaches, and even affect the liver and nervous system.”
Joyce described paddling pools as a ‘breeding ground for bacteria.’ Gross!
She added: “Paddling pools are a breeding ground for bacteria such as cryptosporidium, norovirus and E-coli.
“This is normally caused by animal contact, such as ant or bird droppings, or even bacteria from your dog jumping in and out.”
Another reason Joyce from HomeHow insists we should change the water in paddling pools daily – is due to little accidents.
She suggested: “If you have small children, there is also the risk of accidents, especially if they are not potty trained.
“If this water is left, it can cause a variety of illnesses in both kids and adults.”
WHAT TO DO?
Luckily – there are ways to ensure your paddling pool is clean and not full of these disgusting secrets.
Tim said he advises families to empty the pool water each day – for safety and cleanliness.
He commented: “Our advice for families who are using a paddling pool this summer is that ideally, you should empty the pool water each day.
“Then clean it thoroughly with a proper paddling pool treatment, which you can buy from any number of places, including Al Round Fun.
“However, if you’re trying to save water, then the next best thing is to secure your pool with a proper pool cover and add child-safe chlorine tablets to the water.”
Joyce also gave her top tips for ensuring the paddling pool is cleaned every day after use.
When emptying out the paddling pool, she said you should make sure there is no water left and wipe away any excess water with a towel.
It would be best if you then cleaned the paddling pool with a mixture of equal parts of vinegar and water, she added.
This should be applied to the paddling pool using a scrubbing brush, ensuring you cover all areas to get rid of bacteria.
You can then rinse the paddling pool using a hose on high pressure.
Joyce said: “The paddling pool should be left to dry by turning it upside down, as this will prevent any leaves or dirt from getting inside the pool.
“Then, put it away and cover it up with a fitted sheet. If you’re planning to use it again the next day, you should apply a child-friendly antibacterial spray once it’s completely dry.
“When filling your paddling pool up, you should avoid using a water butt, as this may contaminate the water and cause legionnaires disease.
“This is a lung infection that you can contract by inhaling water droplets from paddling pools or hot tubs.”
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