May 24, 2010
Summer Swimming Season – Avoiding Sickness
National Recreational Water Illness Prevention Week – May 24 - 20, 2010
SPRINGFIELD, ILL. – As swimming pools, water parks and beaches prepare to open this upcoming Memorial Day weekend, Dr. Damon T. Arnold, director of the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), is encouraging people to learn how to protect themselves from getting sick while swimming. The themes for this year’s National Recreational Water Illness Prevention Week are pool inspections and the Triple A’s of healthy swimming; Awareness, Action and Advocacy.
“Going to swimming pools and water parks are great summer activities and good exercise, but they can also lead to illness if you’re not careful,” Dr. Arnold said. Knowing what hazards to look for at a pool or water park, and what steps you can take will help ensure a healthy and safe swimming experience.”
The goal of National Recreational Water Illness Prevention Week is to highlight the simple steps swimmers and pool operators can take to avoid illness,
Although pool inspectors check to make sure chemical levels are right and pool is operating properly, they can’t be at every pool every day. To help ensure a healthy swimming experience every time, we encourage swimmers to follow the Triple A’s of Healthy Swimming: Awareness, Action, and Advocacy.
The best way to prevent RWIs is to keep germs out of the pool in the first place. Follow these healthy swimming steps:
For all swimmers
For Parents of Young Children
Recreational water illnesses can be caused by germs like Crypto (short for Cryptosporidium), Giardia, E. coli 0157:H7, and Shigella, and are spread by accidentally swallowing water that has been contaminated with fecal matter. You share the water with everyone in the pool. If someone with diarrhea contaminates the water, swallowing the water can make you sick. Most germs are killed by chlorine, but some germs, like Crypto, are resistant to chlorine and can live in pools for days. That is why even the best maintained pools can spread illnesses.
Illness can also be caused by an improper chemical balance in pools, water parks and spas and can be identified by burning eyes, nose and lungs. The following are things you can look for to prevent illness.
For more information about recreational water illness prevention visit http://www.idph.state.il.us/envhealth/swimmingpools.htm.
of Public Health
535 West Jefferson Street
Springfield, Illinois 62761
Questions or Comments