Plastic facemasks, goggles recommended for use in city pools

by Melissa Martin

Closing a municipal pool in the middle of the hottest months of the year is never a popular decision. However, Brecksville was forced to make that call in recent weeks after broken glass appeared in the city’s outdoor pool.

According to Parks and Recreation Director Rachele Engle, the source of the glass was a full-face child’s facemask, which dropped face-down on the deck and shattered.

“Unfortunately, the glass could not be contained,” she said. “To ensure full safety to our patrons, draining the pool [was] a necessary action to be taken.”

Engle said the aquatics department was forced to drain, clean and refill the pool, working around the clock to ensure the turnaround was as short as possible for community center members. The pool was closed for fewer than two days.

As a result of the incident, the aquatics staff advised parents to make certain the lens on masks are made from plastic or acrylic, as glass of any type, including tempered glass, is not safe in a pool environment.

The staff also cautioned that masks are less safe for untrained users, especially when the nose enclosure is integrated as part of the mask. This can result in choking on water to an untrained user. 

For many reasons, goggles, especially for children, is preferred over full-face masks, Engle said.

Guests are also encouraged not to bring any glass items into the pool areas.

“Should any parents or other residents have any additional questions, please feel free to ask any of our aquatic staff,” Engle said. ∞