Monday, May 24, 2010

National Recreational Water Illness Prevention Week

Just in time for the warm weather, it's National Recreational Water Illness Prevention Week.

Recreational water illnesses (RWIs) are caused by germs spread by swallowing, breathing in mists or aerosols of, or having contact with contaminated water in swimming pools, hot tubs, water parks, water play areas, interactive fountains, lakes, rivers, or oceans. RWIs can be a wide variety of infections, including stomach, skin, ear, respiratory, eye, neurologic and wound infections. The most commonly reported RWI is diarrhea.

Staying healthy while enjoying summer activities is important. Keeping our recreational water sources clean is also important. Here are some very simple steps you can take to keep yourself and others safe:

  • Don’t swim when you have diarrhea
  • Don’t swallow water when swimming
  • Shower with soap before swimming and wash your hands after using the toilet or changing diapers
  • Take kids on bathroom breaks or check diapers often
  • Change diapers in a bathroom or a diaper-changing area and not at poolside
  • Wash children thoroughly (especially the rear end) with soap and water before they go swimming

For more information, check out: www.mainepublichealth.gov/healthyswimming

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