Baby accidents prompt new rules at Red Deer pools
Problems with baby diaper accidents at City of Red Deer swimming pools have prompted a new rule, starting on April 8.
The city will require children under three to wear plastic swim pants over swim diapers. Until now, infants had to wear these diapers only.
“The requirement to double up with both swim diapers and plastic swim pants is our way of ensuring the communal pool environment stays free of water-borne illness and free of service disruptions,” said Tammy Greba, program co-ordinator for Collicutt Centre.
“Unfortunately, swim diapers don’t always do their job and every time they don’t, it impacts the experience of our other customers.”
Greba said incidents are occurring, on average, once every couple of weeks.
The city has four pools.
Shelley Gagnon, city Recreation, Parks and Culture Department manager, said the pool has to be cleared every time there’s an incident. There are specific procedures to treat the water.
“The process takes up to an hour, which has a significant impact on people currently at the pool as well as those walking through the door for the next hour,” said Gagnon.
“It also means cancelling scheduled swim lessons, lane swims and special events.”
Although the decision to require swim diapers and swim pants will affect some children who are already potty-trained, city staff hope parents will understand the decision is about public health and uninterrupted pool access.
Plastic swim pants are sold at a number of stores. City pools will also sell them for the convenience of families. The washable and reusable pants are available for purchase at $2 each and feature cloth waistbands, soft elastic and a variety of sizes.
Greba said other cities are introducing similar measures, including Calgary, Edmonton and Grande Prairie.
“We just need that elastic around the waist so when it does happen, it doesn’t accidentally come out and into the water,” said Greba.