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Injuries from Chemical Burns - Chlorine a Parent’s Worst Nightmare!

Every year a large number of children’s holidays are spoilt when they are admitted to foreign hospitals with breathing problems, face blisters, and skin irritation, caused by excessive exposure to chlorine used in hotel swimming pools. The risk of chemical burns from excessive chlorine levels is especially high in children whose skin is more sensitive to caustic chemical than adults.

Holiday Illness Claims and Bugs in the Swimming Pool?

Chlorine is the primary defence against the growth of unwanted bacteria in swimming pools which commonly cause Holiday Illness outbreaks in hotels abroad, but it is also used to reduce the growth of algae and control pH levels.

Simon Lomax, Simpson Millar LLP’s Holiday Accident and Illness manager says:

“Unfortunately, parasites such as cryptosporidium are resistant to low levels of chlorine and therefore hoteliers often add large and unmeasured amounts of chlorine granules, tablets or liquid, to prevent illness outbreaks and expensive personal injury claims.

Hotel staff often release large amounts of chemicals into the pool to ‘shock treat’ the swimming pool to remove unwanted parasites and bacteria. Children who unwittingly enter the water during cleaning can suffer a nasty holiday accident and suffer serious injuries from chemical burns. The amount of chlorine in the pool and the length of a child's exposure will determine the severity of the reaction and subsequent burn.”

Pool Accident Abroad, Chlorine Burns and Negligent Hoteliers!

Children who swim in pools which have been treated with high levels of chlorine are at increased risk of inhaling dangerous amounts of chlorine gas and related chemicals. The inhalation of chlorine gas is extremely dangerous, and the risk is especially high for children who swim in indoor pools.

High levels of chlorine, from excessive use of chemicals or from the escape of chlorine gas in poorly ventilated indoor pools, can cause an accident resulting in severe irritation to a child’s eyes, nose, sinus and skin. Exposure can cause respiratory problems and, if swallowed, throat burns. Chlorine can also cause very severe chemical burns to broken skin and often results in accident claims and occasionally death.

Pool Room Holiday Accident Claims – Hide and Seek?

Exposure to chemical can also be caused when they are spilt on the pool side or are left in unlocked and unsupervised pool maintenance rooms – a known allurement to inquisitive and playful children. Hoteliers should ensure that pool rooms are locked at all times and chemicals are stored safety to prevent the risk of a holiday accident.

Hoteliers can avoid exposing children to the risks of chlorine burns by following instructions for adding chlorine to their pool and by adhering to guidance from the Federation of Tour Operators about safety practices. Indoor pools should be adequately ventilated, particularly if the water is exposed to sunlight to prevent the build-up and risk of gas inhalation.

Swimming Pool Accident Claims

It is recommended that you seek immediate medical treatment if you or your child has been exposed to high levels of chemicals in water or chlorine gas. Obviously leave the pool immediately and notify the hotel’s management if there is a stronger than usual chlorine smell or if you or your child experiences any irritation to the skin or eyes. The eyes and skin should immediately be washed with tap water to clear away the irritant.

Holiday Accident Claims – Contact Simpson Millar LLP

Our specialist Holiday Accident Claim’s Team are experienced at dealing with personal injury claims involving exposure to chemical burns from swimming pools abroad.

The Package Travel Regulations 1992 provide powerful consumer protection to those who are injured on holiday abroad due to an accident in their hotel. If the hoteliers staff over chlorinated the pool without adequate warning, holidaymakers exposed to chemical burns should claim compensation for their injuries abroad.

Contact us today on 0808 145 1353 for your free initial consultation and assessment of your holiday accident claim.

Dated: 28/02/2012

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