Pool season is officially here! Even though swimming is a great recreational activity, be cautious about the water where you swim. This week marks the 11th annual Healthy and Safe Swimming Week, where this year’s theme is “Pool Chemistry for Healthy & Safe Swimming.”
Many people do not think about the chemistry of the water before they dive. Certain contaminations can lead to illness, including Cryptosporidium (or “Crypto”), Legionella and other recreational water illnesses. Pool chemicals are added to maintain water quality and kill germs. Each year, however, mishandling pool chemicals when treating pools, hot tubs, spas, and water playgrounds leads to 3,000-5,000 visits to emergency departments.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in 2009 there were approximately 301 million swimming visits each year by persons over the age of six. Please refrain from getting in deep water levels if you cannot swim. Each day, two children younger than 14 years old die from drowning. Drowning is a leading cause of death for children 1-4 years old.
Follow these tips for safe swimming this summer:
Don’t swim or let your kids swim if sick with diarrhea.
The weather is heating up, children are fast moving toward the final days of school and visions of summer fun are dancing in the heads of families all across South Carolina. Have fun, but be careful.
While Memorial Day weekend marks the unofficial beginning of cookout season and summer fun, significant health and safety hazards are lurking out there that can spoil a good time if we’re not safe.
Stay safe when swimming
Memorial weekend typically brings with it the openings of swimming pools and other outdoor water activities. Swimming in an ocean or pool is an excellent outdoor activity for the whole family and it’s important to make sure everyone is equipped with sunscreen to protect themselves from harmful, burning ultraviolet (UV) rays. Practicing sun safety plays an important role in the prevention of skin cancer, the most commonly diagnosed cancer in the United States. Apply broad spectrum sunscreen with at least SPF 15 before going outdoors. Reapply sunscreen if it wears off after swimming, sweating or toweling off.
Protect yourself from insect bites
Sunscreen isn’t all you should arm yourself with: Use an insect repellent containing Deet to protect your family from insects while outdoors. The repellent is safe and, when used as directed, is the best way to protect against mosquito bites, ticks and other biting insects; children and pregnant women should protect themselves also. The bite of insects such as mosquitoes can potentially do more than cause irritating itching; mosquitoes can also transmit diseases such as West Nile and Zika.
Watch out for rip currents
It’s also important to be knowledgeable about rip currents or rip tides at the beach. Rip currents are responsible for many deaths on our nation’s beaches every year and can occur in any body of water that has breaking waves, not just the ocean. Currents at the beach can move to different locations along the coast and can be deadly both to swimmers and those in waist deep water where the rip current occurs. Be sure to check in with lifeguards, who can alert you to areas that have rip current potential.
Here are some more tips to keep you and your family safe and healthy at the beach or pool:
Always supervise children when in or around water.
Dress in loose, lightweight, light-colored clothing if it is hot outside. Stay cool with cool showers or baths. Seek medical care immediately if anyone has symptoms of heat-related illness, including a headache, nausea, dizziness, heavy sweating, and an elevated body temperature.
Stay hydrated. Your body loses fluids through sweat. Drink more water than usual — two to four cups of water every hour you are outside. Also, try to avoid alcohol intake to prevent dehydration.
Cover up. Clothing that covers your skin helps protect against UV rays. Be sure to apply sunscreen to exposed skin.
Be aware of swim and water quality advisories and avoid swimming in those areas.
Do not enter the water with cuts, open sores or lesions; naturally-occurring bacteria in the water may cause infection.
Do not swim in or allow children to play in swashes of water or near storm water drainage pipes. These shallow pools are caused by runoff from paved surfaces and often contain much higher levels of bacteria and pollutants than the ocean. Permanent water quality advisories are indicated by signs in these areas.
Do not swim in the ocean during or immediately following rainfall. Heavy rain can wash bacteria and possibly harmful pollutants into the surf. To reduce the risk of illness, wait at least 12 hours after a heavy rain to resume swimming.
Be sure to check your local news and weather forecast for information on heat and beach advisories before planning any type of outdoor activities.
Five college football games ending all at once. A hurricane evacuation. Several inches of snow.
These are a few of the logistical headaches South Carolina safety authorities have compared to the potential impact of the total solar eclipse set to pass directly over the state Monday afternoon.
With as many as 2 million visitors expected to descend on the Palmetto State to witness the rare event, officials are reminding residents one final time to avoid putting themselves in precarious situations.
SUMMERVILLE, S.C. (WCBD) – The S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control says they found no ongoing chemical issues at the Ashborough pool in Summerville following a chemical release incident at the pool.
(CNN) — Despite a 23-year campaign urging that babies be put to bed on their backs, only 43.7% of US mothers report that they both intend to use this method and actually do so all the time, according to a new study.
The Safe to Sleep campaign has been telling both caregivers and parents to use this position since 1994. Placing babies on their backs before they go to sleep reduces the risk of sudden infant death syndrome, an unexplained fatal condition also known as SIDS, as well as other sleep-related infant deaths like suffocation, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.