Many parents are not aware that children can get sick from germs found in water of pools, lakes and water parks. This condition is better known as Recreational Water Illnesses (RWIs). Today’s focus is to create awareness regarding water safety tips before spending a day at the pool with children.
Contrary to popular belief, chlorine does not kill germs instantly. Some germs are very tolerant to chlorine and it can take anything from minutes to days for chlorine to kill them. A good example would be Cryptosporidium which can survive for days even in a properly disinfected pool.
Who are the individuals at higher risk of Recreational Water Illnesses?
Children younger than 10 years of age, the elderly, and the immunocompromised.
What are the symptoms of Recreational Water Illnesses?
These are a myriad of symptoms ranging from tummy upset, vomiting or diarrhoea, swimmer’s itch rash, ear infection, pink eye and even respiratory illnesses like cough or runny nose.
So how do you stay safe and infection-free while swimming?
This can be nicely summarised as “Keep the pee, poop, sweat, blood and dirt out of the water!”
✔ Do not swallow the water
✔ Do not pee or poo in the water
✔ Rinsing for 1 minute before getting into the water
✔ Stay out of the water if you are vomiting or having diarrhea
✔Stay out of the water if you have an open wound (for example surgery or piercing) that is not covered with waterproof bandage
✔ Check diapers every hour and change them as soon as they are soiled
P.S Just to add on something important⚠️ If you find a swimming pool having strong chlorine smell, it does not necessarily mean the pool is clean. Chlorine interacts with sweat and pee in the pool to produce volatile pungent byproducts that can irritate the eyes, skin and lungs. Simply put, the pool water needs to be changed.
Let us take the necessary precautions to ensure a HEALTHY swim