(NEW YORK) — Injuries from pool chemicals sent nearly 5,000 people to the emergency room in 2012, according to a new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Nearly half of the injuries, which experts deem “preventable,” were found in children and teenagers, and more than a third occurred at a home.
The most common reason for a hospital visit was poisoning, which can occur when someone inhales chemicals like chlorine or bromine.
“Chemicals are added to the water in pools to stop germs from spreading. But they need to be handled and stored safely to avoid serious injuries,” Michele Hlavsa, chief of CDC’s Healthy Swimming Program, said in a statement.
Majority chemical incidents were in the summer period from Memorial Day to Labor Day, with almost half occurring on weekends.
The CDC advises residential pool owners and public pool operators to secure chemicals to protect swimmers and animals, never mix products together, and add pool chemical to water instead of water to pool chemicals.