Achieving compliance with pool fencing legislation in New Zealand: a survey of regulatory authorities.
OBJECTIVES: To identify the status of compliance and enforcement of New Zealand's Fencing of Swimming Pools Act (FOSP Act), 10 years after its introduction, and to identify methods for improving both compliance with the act and the process of enforcement. METHODS: A postal questionnaire was sent to all 74 authorities in New Zealand in which they were asked questions about their enforcement of the FOSP Act. Semistructured telephone interviews were conducted with 12 authorities to supplement the data obtained in the postal survey. RESULTS: Based on responses to the survey, it was estimated that there are over 59,000 domestic swimming pools in New Zealand, giving rates of 46 pools/1000 dwellings and 16 pools/1000 persons. The authorities reported that 44% of pools complied with the act, and a further 4% had been granted exemptions. Nineteen per cent of pools were reported to not comply with the act, and the compliance status of a further 33% was not known, or not stated by the authority. Only 9% of authorities had procedures for locating and inspecting pools, while 28% had a programme of reinspection to ensure that pools continued to comply. Pool owner resistance was considered to be the main difficulty with enforcing the act, and nearly half of the authorities believed publicity or education was needed to overcome these barriers. Fifty two per cent of authorities had publicized the act during the 12 months preceding the survey. CONCLUSIONS: Due to ambiguities within the legislation, and differing levels of commitment by authorities to locate pools and monitor compliance, compliance with the FOSP Act is not consistent nationally. If the act were less ambiguous, there would be greater consistency and more enforcement. (+info)
Effects of pool-fencing ordinances and other factors on childhood drowning in Los Angeles County, 1990-1995.
OBJECTIVES: This study estimated the effects of local pool-fencing ordinances and other factors on the rate of childhood drowning in Los Angeles County, California. METHODS: Stage 1 was a retrospective dynamic cohort study of all drownings among children younger than 10 years that occurred in residential swimming pools in Los Angeles County between 1990 and 1995. Stage 2 was a matched case-control study that compared pools in which childhood drownings occurred (cases) with randomly selected pools in which drownings did not occur (controls). RESULTS: The drowning rate was relatively high among toddlers (aged 1-4 years), boys, and African Americans and in areas with a high density of residential swimming pools. Pool-fencing ordinances were not associated with a reduced overall rate of childhood drowning. CONCLUSIONS: Local ordinances enacted in Los Angeles County before 1996 do not appear to have been effective in reducing the rate of childhood drowning in residential pools. Possible reasons for this ineffectiveness are insufficient building codes for isolating pools from homes, inadequate enforcement of the ordinances, and inadequate operation or maintenance of fencing equipment by pool owners. (+info)
Surveillance for waterborne-disease outbreaks--United States, 1997-1998.
PROBLEM/CONDITION: Since 1971, CDC and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have maintained a collaborative surveillance system for collecting and periodically reporting data relating to occurrences and causes of waterborne-disease outbreaks (WBDOs). REPORTING PERIOD COVERED: This summary includes data from January 1997 through December 1998 and a previously unreported outbreak in 1996. DESCRIPTION OF THE SYSTEM: The surveillance system includes data regarding outbreaks associated with drinking water and recreational water. State, territorial, and local public health departments are primarily responsible for detecting and investigating WBDOs and voluntarily reporting them to CDC on a standard form. RESULTS: During 1997-1998, a total of 13 states reported 17 outbreaks associated with drinking water. These outbreaks caused an estimated 2,038 persons to become ill. No deaths were reported. The microbe or chemical that caused the outbreak was identified for 12 (70.6%) of the 17 outbreaks; 15 (88.2%) were linked to groundwater sources. Thirty-two outbreaks from 18 states were attributed to recreational water exposure and affected an estimated 2,128 persons. Eighteen (56.3%) of the 32 were outbreaks of gastroenteritis, and 4 (12.5%) were single cases of primary amebic meningoencephalitis caused by Naegleria fowleri, all of which were fatal. The etiologic agent was identified for 29 (90.6%) of the 32 outbreaks, with one death associated with an Escherichia coli O157:H7 outbreak. Ten (55.6%) of the 18 gastroenteritis outbreaks were associated with treated pools or ornamental fountains. Of the eight outbreaks of dermatitis, seven (87.5%) were associated with hot tubs, pools, or springs. INTERPRETATION: Drinking water outbreaks associated with surface water decreased from 31.8% during 1995-1996 to 11.8% during 1997-1998. This reduction could be caused by efforts by the drinking water industry (e.g., Partnership for Safe Water), efforts by public health officials to improve drinking water quality, and improved water treatment after the implementation of EPA's Surface Water Treatment Rule. In contrast, the proportion of outbreaks associated with systems supplied by a groundwater source increased from 59.1% (i.e., 13) during 1995-1996 to 88.2% (i.e., 15) during 1997-1998. Outbreaks caused by parasites increased for both drinking and recreational water. All outbreaks of gastroenteritis attributed to parasites in recreational water were caused by Cryptosporidium, 90% occurred in treated water venues (e.g., swimming pools and decorative fountains), and fecal accidents were usually suspected. The data in this surveillance summary probably underestimate the true incidence of WBDOs because not all WBDOs are recognized, investigated, and reported to CDC or EPA. ACTIONS TAKEN: To estimate the national prevalence of waterborne disease associated with drinking water, CDC and EPA are conducting a series of epidemiologic studies to better quantify the level of waterborne disease associated with drinking water in nonoutbreak conditions. The Information Collection Rule implemented by EPA in collaboration with the drinking water industry helped quantifythe level of pathogens in surface water. Efforts by CDC to address recreational water outbreaks have included meetings with the recreational water industry, focus groups to educate parents on prevention of waterborne disease transmission in recreational water settings, and publications with guidelines for parents and pool operators. (+info)
Pseudomonas dermatitis/folliculitis associated with pools and hot tubs--Colorado and Maine, 1999-2000.
During 1999-2000, outbreaks of Pseudomonas aeruginosa dermatitis and otitis externa associated with swimming pool and hot tub use occurred in Colorado and Maine. This report summarizes these outbreaks and provides recommendations for swimming pool and hot tub operation and maintenance, particularly when using offsite monitoring of water disinfectant and pH levels or when cyanuric acid is added to pools as a chlorine stabilizer. (+info)
Toddler drowning in domestic swimming pools.
AIMS: To identify how toddlers who drowned gained access to private swimming pools; to recommend preventive strategies to reduce the incidence of toddler drowning and near drowning. METHOD: The study reviewed critically all completed investigations into the drowning deaths of toddlers aged 1-4 years reported to the state coroner (n=33) as a result of unintentional submersion incidents in domestic swimming pools in Victoria, Australia, from 1 January 1992 to 31 December 1997. RESULTS: There was a predominance of 1 year olds, and boys. Forty six per cent of the children drowned in the three summer months. The majority of pools were in-ground; most were located on the child's home property. Over half the pools lacked fencing of any kind; of those that did have fences, only three appear to have met Australian standards. CONCLUSIONS: More than half of the children studied drowned in unfenced pools and spas. In not one case did a child gain unaided access to a pool fitted with a fully functional gate and fence that met the Australian standard. Where children gained access to fenced pools, the majority did so via faulty or inadequate gates, or through gates that were propped open. This finding highlights the need for pool owners to install Australian standard approved fences and gates, and to maintain existing fences and gates regularly. Door locks and supervision were inadequate primary prevention strategies. (+info)
Exercise in 94 degrees F water for a patient with multiple sclerosis.
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: The purpose of this case report is to describe the examination, intervention, and outcome of a patient with multiple sclerosis (MS) who participated in a comprehensive rehabilitation program that included aquatic therapy with a pool temperature of 94 degrees F. There are few descriptions of aquatic exercise programs on muscle force, exercise tolerance, and functional outcomes in individuals with MS, and most authors recommend a water temperature of less than 85 degrees F to prevent an exacerbation of symptoms. DESCRIPTION: The patient was a 33-year-old woman. Before, during, and after the aquatic program, she was monitored for body temperature, heart rate, blood pressure, and perceived exertion. She was also assessed for muscle force and functional abilities. OUTCOMES: The patient did not experience heat sensitivity or fatigue throughout the program, and her manual muscle test grades and mobility improved. DISCUSSION: This patient's participation in aquatic therapy, in conjunction with land-based interventions, may have been associated with the improvement in functional abilities. (+info)
Short term respiratory effects of acute exposure to chlorine due to a swimming pool accident.
OBJECTIVE: Acute exposure to chlorine causes lung damage, and recovery may proceed slowly for several weeks. The short term respiratory effects of acute chlorine inhalation during a swimming pool accident were examined. METHODS: A total of 282 subjects (134 children, aged <14 years) inhaled hydrogen chloride and sodium hypochlorite during an accident caused by a malfunction of the water chlorinating system in a community pool in Rome in 1998. Most people received bronchodilators and cortisone at the emergency room; five children were admitted to hospital. A total of 260 subjects (92.2%) were interviewed about duration of exposure (<3, 3--5, >5 minutes), intensity of exposure (not at all or a little, a moderate amount, a lot), and respiratory symptoms. Lung function was measured in 184 people (82 children) after 15--30 days. The effects of exposure to chlorine were analysed through multiple linear regression, separately in adults and in children. RESULTS: Acute respiratory symptoms occurred among 66.7% of adults and 71.6% of children. The incidences were highest among those who had chronic respiratory disease and had a longer duration of exposure. In about 30% of the subjects, respiratory symptoms persisted for 15--30 days after the accident. Lung function levels were lower in those who reported a high intensity of exposure than in those who reported low exposure, both in children and in adults (mean (95% confidence interval (95% CI)) differences in forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV(1,)) were -109 (-310 to 93) ml, and -275 (-510 to -40) ml, respectively). CONCLUSION: Persistent symptoms and lung function impairment were found up to 1 month after the incident. Although community pool accidents happen rarely, the medical community needs to be alerted to the possible clinical and physiological sequelae, especially among susceptible people. (+info)
Protracted outbreaks of cryptosporidiosis associated with swimming pool use--Ohio and Nebraska, 2000.
Swimming is the second most popular exercise in the United States with approximately 400 million pool visits annually. During the summer of 2000, five outbreaks of cryptosporidiosis linked to swimming pools were reported to CDC. This report summarizes the investigations of two of these outbreaks involving approximately 1000 cases and provides recommendations to reduce the transmission of pool-related disease. (+info)