The week before Memorial Day (May 20–26, 2019) is Healthy and Safe Swimming Week. The goal of this awareness week is to maximize the health benefits of swimming by minimizing the risk of illness and injury. Just 2.5 hours of physical activity every week, including water-based physical activity, can benefit everyone’s health. Each of us plays a role in preventing illnesses and injuries linked to the water we swim, play, relax in, and share. Swimming is a fun, healthy way to stay physically active and spend quality time with family and friends. Healthy and Safe Swimming Week highlights the roles that swimmers, parents of young swimmers, aquatics and beach staff, residential pool owners, and public health officials play in preventing disease outbreaks, drowning, and pool chemical injuries.
Why Is Healthy and Safe Swimming Week Important?
Injuries caused by mishandling pool chemicals:
Pool chemicals are added to maintain water quality (for example, to kill germs). Each year, however, mishandling pool chemicals when treating public or residential/backyard pools, hot tubs/spas, and water playgrounds leads to 3,000–5,000 visits to U.S. emergency departments.
For more info, visit CDCs Pool Chemical Info.
Illnesses caused by the germs in pools, hot tubs/spas, and water playgrounds:
During 2000–2014, nearly 500 outbreaks were linked to pools, hot tubs/spas, and water playgrounds. Most of the outbreaks were caused by germs Cryptosporidium (or “Crypto”), Legionella, or Pseudomonas. Healthy swimming is not just about the steps pool operators and pool inspectors take—so let’s all do our part to help keep ourselves, our families, and our friends healthy.
For more info, visit CDCs Healthy Swimming Info.
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. we want to remind you about drowning prevention. Drowning is the leading cause of accidental injury or death in children under the age of 5. Drowning can be quick and silent. It's a fallacy that the act of drowning is accompanies by screams or splashing, making proactive prevention crucial. To help prevent drownings, please remember to have active adult supervision, never swim alone, make sure your pool is fenced with self-closing/latching gates, and most of all keep a Pool / Lifeguard First Aid Kit on hand.
For more info, visit CDCs Water Injuries Info.
Harmful algal blooms:
Algae can grow in warm, nutrient-rich fresh- and marine water. An abundant growth of algae that harms people or animals is referred to as a harmful algal bloom (HAB). HABs in fresh- and marine water can produce toxins that cause a variety of symptoms including skin irritation, coughing, sneezing, diarrhea, stomach pain, numbness, and dizziness. Symptoms vary depending on the type of HAB toxin and the type of exposure, such as skin contact, ingestion by eating food or drinking water contaminated with HAB toxins, or breathing in tiny droplets or mist contaminated with HAB toxins.
For more info, visit CDCs HAB Toxin Info
Naegleria fowleri “the brain-eating ameba”:
Naegleria fowleri is a microscopic ameba (a singlecelled living organism) that is commonly found in warm freshwater such as in lakes, rivers, and hot springs. If water containing the ameba goes up the nose forcefully, the ameba can invade and cause a rare and devastating infection of the brain called primary amebic meningoencephalitis (PAM).
For more info, visit CDCs Naegleria Info