Water Exercise Illnesses?

Preventing Sickness from Water Fun

* Test chlorine levels – Just because chlorine is added to a pool doesn’t mean that it is safe. The pH has to be at a certain level in order for bacteria to be affected and it doesn’t kill the bacteria right away. Pool supervisors that regularly clean and treat with chlorine can reduce bacterial growth that can affect the health of swimmers. You can test the water yourself with home litmus kits.

* Don’t drink the water – The chlorine alone can make you feel sick to your stomach. Water in pools and natural bodies contain some measure of bacteria. Drinking pool water increases your chances of contracting a water illness. Keep your mouth shut as much as possible while you are swimming.

* Don’t swim if you are sick – You may not be able to see it, but small amounts of fecal matter can be released into the water if you have been suffering from diarrhea. Any bacteria, which you have on or in your body, can make its way into the water from a cough, flatulence or a urinary accident.

* Change babies in the bathroom – Poolside diaper changes may be easier but they are definitely not safer. Diaper contents can become aerosolized or even leak onto the area surrounding the pool. Then it is only a short distance to the entire body of water.

* Wash before you swim – Clean your skin before jumping into the pool. Take a shower in your suit before entering the pool area.

* Wash your hands thoroughly – After using the bathroom, use soap and warm water to clean any debris off of your hands before re-entering the water.

* Read posted signs – Whenever there is a health concern that could affect public areas where lots of people gather, signs will be posted or announcements made. Wait until the public threat is over before returning.