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Take steps to prevent recreational water illnesses

Memorial Day is around the corner and many of us are looking forward to the beginning of the summer season. As weather gets warmer, swimming is a fun physical activity and has many health benefits. However, keep in mind that when sharing the water, the germs are also shared.

Recreational Water Illnesses or RWIs are illnesses spread by swallowing, breathing in the vapors from, or having contact with contaminated water in swimming pools, hot tubs, water parks, spas, interactive fountains, ponds, lakes, rivers, or oceans. Germs on and in swimmers’ bodies end up in the water and can make other people sick. Although healthy swimmers can get sick from RWIs, the young, elderly, pregnant women, and those with weakened immune systems are especially at risk.

The following are specific actions you can take to protect yourself and others:

1. Do not swim when you have diarrhea.

2. Do not swallow pool water or get pool water in your mouth.

3. Shower before swimming (children especially).

4. Wash your hands after using the toilet or changing diapers.

5. Take children on bathroom breaks or change diapers often.

6. Change children’s diapers in a bathroom, not at poolside.

For more information about Recreational Water Illness prevention and healthy swimming, contact the Livingston County Department of Health at 585-243-7299 or visit HERE.