Safety Tips for Pool and Spa from NSF International

image of pool and spaThe Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that almost 300 + children under the age of 5 drown in each year and thousands more are injured in pool and spa accidents. 

One of the organizations that knows how to protect our children from pool and spa accidents is NSF International.

NSF International helps protect you by certifying products worldwide and writing internationally-recognized standards for food, water and consumer goods. As an independent, not-for-profit, global public health and safety organization, NSF is committed to improving human health and safety worldwide.

Here are some safety tips for pool and spa owners from NSF International:

  • Small children require constant adult supervision when using a pool and spa. There is no substitute for the watchful eye of caring adults.

  • Never use a pool and spa that has a broken or missing drain cover. If family or friends have a pool that your children visit, or you swim at a public pool and spa, check for properly attached drain covers and instruct children to keep away from the drains.
  • In addition to being correctly installed, drain covers and grates should meet current anti-entrapment standards set forth in the Pool and Spa Safety Act to help prevent body parts and hair from becoming trapped. Covers that meet these standards will display ANSI/APSP 16 or ANSI/ASME A112.19.8 on the cover’s exterior.
  • Make sure you know if anyone using your pool and spa is a non-swimmer, especially the children.
  • Establish and enforce rules for pool and spa use. Don’t allow kids to run or play games near the pool. Keep toys, particularly tricycles or wheeled toys, away from pools, as children playing with these could accidentally fall into the water.
  • Install a certified barrier or pool alarm to help prevent unauthorized persons from entering the area surrounding your pool or spa. Wristband alarms are also available to alert parents if a child should accidentally fall into the water.
  • Keep your pool and spa properly sanitized and maintained. Use pool treatment chemicals safely and always read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Store chemicals in a cool, dry area out of the reach of children.
  • Make sure that an emergency shut-off switch for the pump is installed nearby and that it is easily accessible. Everyone should know where these switches are located and how to use them.
  • Check local building codes to ensure the fence surrounding your pool and spa meets minimum type and height requirements. Gates leading to the pool and spa area should have a self-closing and self-latching mechanism to prevent unauthorized entry.
  • Drain standing water from the surface of pool and spa covers, as small children can drown in even the smallest amount of water. Always remove covers completely before using a pool and spa.

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Keeping Tailgating Safe…Tips from NSF International

NSF International wants Americans to enjoy tailgating before and after the game.

I’s that time again…time for watching live sports and tailgating.

Here are some tips NSF International wants you to keep in mind when tailgating:

1. Avoid false starts.
Bringing a meat thermometer to the game will help you avoid taking food off the grill too soon and serving it undercooked to your fellow fans. You can’t rely on your eyes alone, so use an NSF International -certified food thermometer to make sure foods are cooked to the proper minimum internal temperature:

  • Whole or ground poultry — 165º F
  • Ground meats (other than poultry) — 160º F
  • Fresh fin fish — 145º F
  • Fresh whole (not ground) pork, beef, veal — 145º F with a three-minute rest time

2. Put your marinade on the sidelines.
When preparing for the big day, keep your marinade in bounds. If you need some for basting, do not use marinade that has come into contact with raw meat. Instead, set aside a small amount of prepared marinade in a separate dish and bring it to the game.

3. Play defense.
NSF International suggests taking defensive measures to protect you and your family against germs by:

  • Bringing wet wipes and hand sanitizer to the game. Make sure you sanitize your hands frequently, especially after putting raw meat on the grill and before eating.
  • Bringing two sets of utensils and dishes if grilling raw meat — one for use with raw foods, the other for cooked foods.
  • Having a plastic bag handy to store dirty utensils or dishes that have touched raw meats to prevent spreading germs in a cooler or in your car after the pre-game meal.

4. Prepare for kickoff.
Cooking outside makes it challenging to avoid cross-contamination. Prepare for the big day by packing three coolers: one for your raw meats, another with your pre-made foods (e.g. potato salad, vegetables) and a third for your beverages. Pack the food at the bottom of the cooler and the ice on top to better insulate the food and keep it at a safe temperature of 40° F. Pack beverages in a separate cooler to avoid frequent opening of the coolers containing perishable foods.

5. Don’t let your food go into overtime.

While it’s tempting to display your game day food spread, it should not be left out for more than two hours (or one hour on days over 90° F) to avoid bacterial growth. Keep perishable foods in coolers to help keep them at safe temperatures as long as you can, and don’t take them out until right before it’s time to eat.

6. Create a neutral zone.

Come prepared with trash bags and create a neutral area to dispose of garbage, empty cans or bottles, and unwanted leftovers. Keep your tailgating area neat and avoid placing glass bottles on the ground where they could be tripped on or broken. When game time is over, throw out your garbage on your way out of the stadium if possible rather than leaving it in your car where bacteria can grow and spread to other surfaces in your car.

“Tailgating is a fun way to celebrate before watching your favorite team play, but can be ruined if you don’t follow the rules of food safety,” said Luptowski. “These tips will keep food poisoning at bay, and help make the pre-game experience a safe and happy one.”

Additional food safety information can be found by visiting NSF International at http://www.nsf.org/consumer/newsroom/kit_food_safety.asp or contacting the NSF Consumer Affairs Office at info@nsf.org.

About NSF International: NSF International (www.nsf.org) has been testing and certifying products for safety, health and the environment for nearly 70 years. As an independent, public health and safety organization, NSF international is committed to protecting and improving human health on a global scale. NSF protects families by testing and certifying thousands of consumer goods each year, including kitchen products and appliances, personal care products, dietary and sport supplements, bottled water, toys, pool and spa equipment, water treatment systems, plumbing fixtures and many other products used in homes every day. Look for the NSF mark on products you purchase.

Operating in more than 150 countries, NSF International is committed to protecting families worldwide and is a World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Food and Water Safety and Indoor Environment. In addition, NSF also and certifies organic food and personal care products through Quality Assurance International (QAI).

 

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