May 24-30 represents Healthy and Safe Swimming Week 2021. This year, it’s all about the trouble that could be lurking in the water. As we discussed last week, May is Water Safety Awareness Month. Each year, this focused week chooses a different aspect of swimming safety to bring awareness to. This year, it’s all about the trouble that could be lurking in the water.
Healthy and Safe Swimming Week 2021
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the week before Memorial Day is dedicated to Healthy and Safe Swimming Week. As we’ve often mentioned, swimming provides incredible exercise. It offers a total-body workout for all of your muscles and your cardiovascular system. Best part? It does all of this without putting too much strain on your joints like other common workouts like jogging.
If swimming is already so healthy, what is the goal of Healthy and Safe Swimming Week? Each year during this week, swimming safety experts and public health officials tackle a new theme when it comes to preventing disease outbreaks, drowning, and pool chemical injuries. For Healthy and Safe Swimming Week 2021, the focus is on diarrhea and swimming.
Diarrhea, Water Illnesses and Swimming
It may sound funny, but diarrhea is not a laughing matter. This common ailment kills a surprising number of people across the globe each year. It’s something we here at Life Save Pool Fence are taking very seriously on Healthy and Safe Swimming Week 2021.
According to the CDC, infections in previous years could be directly linked to swimming pools, hot tubs and playgrounds. Many outbreaks stemmed from the germs Legionella, E. coli, Pseudomonas, and Crypto. To learn more about Crypto, you can read our dedicated article about the CDC’s warning.
Don’t Drink the Water
Is there a way to prevent catching these illnesses? In many cases, the answer is yes. Swimming hygiene is critical. These germs are often transmitted through feces. As gross as it may be, if someone enters a pool when they have diarrhea, the germs can make it into the water.
The CDC reports that there has been an increase in the number of water illness outbreaks over the past two decades. Besides diarrhea, these germs can cause gastroenteritis, as well as ear, eye, skin and chest infections.
Contrary to popular belief, chlorine cannot totally eliminate all germs. Unfortunately, swimmers can become sick if they accidentally swallow some of the contaminated water.
Drinking pool water is never a safe idea. Children should be taught to avoid drinking both pool and ocean water. As always, it is the responsibility of adults to also be informed. After all, anyone is susceptible to infection.
Don’t Forget to Bathe
Keeping with Healthy and Safe Swimming Week 2021, preventing illnesses in others is as important as preventing them in ourselves. Beyond not swallowing the water, there are a few other safety tips that can help us all:
First, avoid getting into the water if you are sick. This is especially true if you knowingly have a case of diarrhea.
Additionally, always look for signs or other warnings from local health authorities. Don’t be afraid to ask a lifeguard for more information about potential infections. It only takes a microscopic amount of germs to make a person sick. With that in mind, it pays to pay attention. Stay safe and have a great swim, everyone! That goes for Healthy and Safe Swimming Week 2021 and all year long.