PRESS RELEASE No. 2017 -51
National Healthy and Safe Swimming Week
May 22-28, 2017 is the “National Healthy and Safe Swimming Week 2017” and the Department of Public Health and Social Services encourages the public to stay safe when participating in swimming pool activities. While sunburns and injuries may be the most common health-risks associated with swimming in recreational pools, diarrhea can be another problem. A person with diarrhea could be ill with an infectious disease, and if that person experiences a diarrheal accident in a swimming pool, it can possibly sicken fellow swimmers with giardia, Shigella, or norovirus.
Many people assume that chlorine will kill germs in the water instantly, but some germs can survive days in properly chlorinated pools. You can help protect yourself and your family and friends from diarrheal illness by following a few simple and effective steps while at the pool this summer and year-round:
- Stay out of the water if you have diarrhea – swim diapers will not contain diarrhea if your child has an accident in the pool!
- Shower with soap and water before you start swimming.
- Do not poop and pee in the water.
- Do not swallow the water you swim in.
- Wash your hands after using the toilet or changing diapers.
- Do your part! Report it if you or your child has a diarrheal incident while swimming.
In addition, practice “Every hour – everyone out!” to encourage kids to take bathroom breaks regularly and to check diapers and change them in a bathroom or diaper changing area – not poolside – to keep germs away from the pool.
Keeping pools safe is not just the responsibility of pool operators and the health department; we all need to do our part.