Formerly known as Recreational Water Illness and Injury (RWII) Prevention Week, the week before Memorial Day has been designated National Healthy and Safe Swimming Week. Healthy and Safe Swimming Week 2017 will take place May 22-28, 2017, marking the 13th anniversary of this observance.
Each year, Healthy and Safe Swimming week highlights measures that swimmers, pool operators, parents, spa owners and beach managers, should be aware of. The Goal is to maximize the health benefits of water based physical activity, while minimizing risks of recreational water- associated illness and injuries.
This year the theme for HSSW is “Swimming & Diarrhea Don’t Mix” Diarrhea incidents (e.g., Cryptosporidium contamination) in recreational water can lead to outbreaks. Public health and the aquatic sector should collaborate to educate swimmers and encourage them to stay out of recreational water if they have diarrhea to help keep their families and friends healthy. Swimmers should be cautioned about the risks related to swimming in untreated venues such as lakes; where exposure to Naegleria fowleri, “the brain-eating ameba,” and harmful algal (HABs) can occur.
Why this is IMPORTANT:
- In 2011-2012 (last recorded data) 90 cases of illness were reported that were directly linked to “Diarrhea”. Chlorine does kill most germs almost instantly, however Crypto “Diarrhea” can last more than a week.
- Every day, 2 children under the age of 14 die from drowning.
- Drowning is a leading cause of injury death for children ages 1–4 years.
- Pool chemicals are added to maintain water quality.
- Each year, however, mishandling of pool chemicals by operators of public pools and residential pools or hot tub/spas lead to 3,000–5,000 visits to emergency departments across the United States.
A Few Simple and Effective Prevention Steps We Can All Take:
- Stay out of the water if you have diarrhea.
- Shower before you get in the water.
- Don’t pee or poop in the water.
- Don’t swallow the water.
Keep swimmers safe in the water.
- Make sure everyone knows how to swim.
- Use life jackets appropriately on those who can not swim.
- Provide continuous, attentive supervision close to swimmers, even those who know how to swim.
The summer months and warm weather are vastly approaching us. The anticipation and excitement is building to take that first dip in the pool or simply lay out at beach. Let keep in mind safety first. Share fun not germs!
And, as always remember to be HAPPY & HEALTHY!