Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Healthy and Safe Swimming Week 2017

The week before Memorial Day (May 22–28, 2017) is Healthy and Safe Swimming Week. The goal of this Week is to maximize the health benefits of swimming by promoting healthy and safe swimming. Just 2.5 hours of water-based (or other forms of) physical activity per week has health benefits for everyone. Each of us plays a role in preventing illnesses and injuries linked to the water we share and swim in, this summer and year-round.

Why Is This Important?
A Few Simple and Effective Prevention Steps We Can All Take
Illnesses caused by the germs in the places we
Every swimmer should:
·   Stay out of the water if you have diarrhea.
·   Shower before you get in the water.
In 2011–2012 (the last years for which national
·   Don’t pee or poop in the water.
data are available), 90 outbreaks were linked
·   Don’t swallow the water.
to swimming; almost half of these outbreaks

were caused by Cryptosporidium (or “Crypto”
Every hour—everyone out!
for short). Chlorine can kill most germs within
·   Take kids on bathroom breaks.
minutes at concentrations recommended by
·   Check diapers and change them in a bathroom or diaper
CDC and typically required by state and local
changing area—not poolside—to keep germs away from the
health departments. But Crypto can survive
more than 1 week at these chlorine

concentrations. Diarrheal incidents in the
FREE printed English and Spanish Healthy Swimming brochures
water we share and swim in can easily spread
are available at
germs and potentially cause outbreaks.
Because chlorine and other disinfectants don’t
kill germs instantly, it’s important to keep

these germs, particularly Crypto, out of the

water in the first place and not drink the water

we share and swim in, this summer and year-


For more info, visit

Keep swimmers safe in the water.
Every day, two children less than 14 years old
·   Make sure everyone knows how to swim.
die from drowning. Drowning is a leading
·   Use life jackets appropriately.
cause of injury death for children ages 1–4
·   Provide continuous, attentive supervision close to swimmers.
·   Know CPR.
For more info, visit
Prevent access to water when pool is not in use.
·   Install and maintain barriers like 4-sided fencing and weight-
bearing pool covers.
·   Use locks/alarms for windows and doors.

Injuries caused by mishandling pool chemicals (for pool operators and residential pool owners):
Pool chemicals are added to maintain water quality (for example, kill germs). Each year, however, mishandling of pool chemicals by operators of public pools and residential/backyard pool or hot tub/spa owners leads to 3,000–5,000 visits to emergency departments across the United States.

Pool operators and residential pool owners should:
·   Read and follow directions on product labels.
·   Wear appropriate safety equipment (for example, goggles), as directed on product labels, when handling pool chemicals.
·   Secure pool chemicals to protect people, particularly young children, and animals.
·   Add pool chemicals poolside ONLY when directed by product label and when no one is in the water.

Prevent violent, potentially explosive, reactions.
·   NEVER mix different pool chemicals with each other, particularly chlorine products and acid.
·   Pre-dissolve pool chemicals ONLY when directed by product label.
o Add pool chemical to water, NEVER water to pool chemical.
FREE printed and laminated poster on safe storage and poster on safe handling available at www.cdc.gov/healthywater/swimming/materials/posters.html
Harmful Algal Blooms:
Avoid water that contains harmful algal blooms—when in
Algae can grow in warm, nutrient-rich fresh
doubt, stay out!
and marine waters. When there is an abundant
·   Look for waterbody or beach advisories announced by local
growth of algae that harms people or animals,
public health authorities or beach managers. If the beach is
it is referred to as a harmful algal bloom (HAB).
closed, stay out.
HABs in fresh and marine waters can produce
·   Don’t swim, water ski, or boat in areas where the water is
toxins that cause a variety of illnesses including
discolored or where you see foam, scum, or mats of algae on
skin irritation, coughing, sneezing, diarrhea,
the water’s surface.
stomach pain, numbness, and dizziness.
·   Avoid entering or swimming in bodies of water that contain
Symptoms can vary depending on the type of
or are near dead fish or other dead animals.
HAB toxin and the type of exposure, such as
·   Keep children or pets from playing in or drinking scummy
skin contact, ingestion by eating food or
drinking water contaminated with HAB toxins,
·   If you do swim in water that might contain a harmful algal
or breathing in tiny droplets or mist
bloom, get out and rinse off with fresh water as soon as
contaminated with HAB toxins.
·   If pets, especially dogs, swim in scummy water, rinse them
For more info, visit
off immediately. Do not let them lick the algae off of their

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