Parents are being warned to keep an extra eye on their children as a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warns that July is the deadliest month for swimming. As a matter of fact, a new report states that outbreaks are becoming increasingly common in untreated recreational water, leaving swimmers at risk for both short and long-term health issues and complications.
Back in 2016, a report from the CDC found that 1 in 8 public pools, hot tubs, and water playgrounds were shut down because of health and safety violations, including excessively dirty water.
This shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone, but swimmers should also look out for fecal contamination. If this is the case, health experts suggest that you vacate the swimming pool immediately for treatment. Feces can spread germs like Shigella, norovirus, and E. coli O157:H7. Keep in mind that just a small mouthful of water that was contaminated by any of these germs can anyone in your family sick almost immediately. The CDC also strongly urges parents to keep children with diarrhea out of the pool.
Other sources of contamination include storm water runoff, sewage overflows, sewage treatment plant discharges, septic systems, boating waste, and animal waste near the beach. To make matters worse, a 2012 survey conducted by the Water Quality & Health Council found that one in five U.S. adults urinates in the pool.
Some facilities to look out for at swimming pools are ones that are adequately supplied with nearby toilets, changing and diaper-changing stations. This will help ensure that everyone stay both clean and safe while enjoying recreational swimming activities this summer.
And while many public pools try to keep their facilities as clean and up-to-date as possible, too much chlorine can be dangerous, too. The exposure to over-chlorinated water may cause asthma, long irritation and even skin and eye irritation. Also, high chlorine levels lower the pH of the water, which becomes more acidic and may affect the pool itself. The highest chlorine level that is safe to swim in is 5 ppm. Anything above this level can cause swimmers and their hair, skin and eyes feeling irritated with a possible burning sensation.
Before heading to the pool this weekend, find out what could be lurking in the water and learn how to protect yourself and your family.