July 29, 2006
State Department of Public Health offers safety tips to prevent injury during activities to “Keep Cool”
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Illinoisans are reminded to take precautions to prevent disease and injury while they “Keep Cool” this summer. The onset of hot summer days can mean danger while participating in certain activities at beaches and swimming pools, hot tubs or spas, as well as other outdoor fun. There is also a potential for injury, such as falls on wet surfaces and diving accidents.
People will have more fun at the beach or pool, while keeping cool, if they know what potential health hazards to avoid. For example, the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) recommends you should swim only in pools where the water quality is properly maintained and avoid beaches littered with trash or other debris.
Last month, Governor Blagojevich launched the Keep Cool Illinois campaign, a comprehensive multi-agency effort to help prepare Illinois residents especially the elderly, families with small children and persons with disabilities, for the dangers and risks that summer temperatures can bring. The campaign includes a statewide network of cooling centers, targeted outreach to vulnerable residents, energy assistance programs, public service announcements, air pollution warnings, fire safety, water safety and energy savings tips. As part of the campaign, the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) released the following helpful tips for outdoor enthusiasts.
Swimming can be hazardous due to the numerous diseases that may be transmitted by contaminated water. Other ways to avoid pool contamination include showering before entering the pool and washing hands after using the bathroom or changing a diaper. Swimming in contaminated water can also cause infections in the eyes, nose, ears and in cuts and scrapes.
The following are some tips to use this summer during activities to Keep Cool.
Skin infections are the most common illness spread through hot tubs and spas.
In order to minimize the risks associated with swimming, IDPH requires the state’s 3,500 swimming pools and spas meet water quality and safety standards. IDPH enforces these rules and regulations through plan approvals and inspections.
To prevent illnesses associated with swimming at Illinois beaches, each licensed beach is inspected annually to determine that required safety features are in place and there are no sources of possible pollution such as sewage discharges. IDPH also requires that each of the 335 licensed public beaches (excluding Chicago beaches, which are regulated by the Chicago Park District) be sampled every two weeks to determine that bacterial levels in the water are within established limits.
Illinois residents can find additional summer safety, health and energy savings tips at www.keepcool.illinois.gov or by calling 1-877-411-9276.
of Public Health
535 West Jefferson Street
Springfield, Illinois 62761
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