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Doctor shares safety tips for heading to the pool with the kids this summer

Across Knoxville there are complexes planning to open pools for the summer pretty soon, but going for a swim looks a lot different this year.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Summer is approaching, and swimming pools in neighborhoods are planning to open up soon.

Some parents are wondering, though, if it's safe to take their kids to the pool since they are not vaccinated for COVID-19.

Dr. Eric Penniman from Summit Medical Group says with kids -- there are always risks involved.

But when it comes to dealing with COVID, the CDC says being outside is always better since there is less risk of spread.

“But in the grand scheme of things, typically outdoor activity, when it comes to potentially contracting COVID, is much safer than indoor activity,” said Penniman. 

The swimming pool is a setting where kids have a low chance of contracting the virus. 

“And so going to the swimming pool is certainly in a setting where when kids exhale, the virus they exhale is quickly dispersed into the atmosphere, plus the ultraviolet radiation of the sun will inactivate the virus as well,” he said. 

The CDC recently released a few new guidelines for pool safety. 

“And they stated that kids should still wear a mask, except for when they're swimming or eating or drinking. So, clearly, in the swimming pool, kids cannot wear masks safely,” said Penniman. 

Across Knoxville there are subdivisions, apartment complexes, and recreational centers planning to open their pools pretty soon. But going for a swim looks a lot different this year.

In West Knoxville at Retreat West Hills, the maximum occupancy is 25 people and a pool pass is required. 

At Copper Point Apartments, a wrist band is required and the pool is only open during office hours. 

So it's all about risk, and it's about mitigating the risk and following some good common sense.