Summer and hot weather are here, and for many children that means heading for swimming pools or beaches. For parents, it means it’s time to start thinking about some of the health issues being in the water can bring, including pools that contain chlorine. Although chlorine provides some protection from germs, it doesn’t kill germs right away and there are some germs that it doesn’t kill at all. Water borne pathogens can cause outbreaks of illnesses in places where people gather to swim. The last thing you, or your kids, want to be catching over your summer vacation is a Recreational Water Illness (RWI).
But nobody’s staying you have to avoid the water! The solution for parents is not to stop their children from using swimming areas, but to develop good habits to guard against infection.
Here are a few helpful habits to prevent infection:
- Don’t swim when infected with diarrhea, as it puts others at risk.
- Take kids for frequent bathroom breaks and checking diapers often.
- Change diapers in the washroom, not at the poolside.
- Wash very young children’s bottoms with soap and water before they enter the water.
- Don’t swallow the water
- Shower before swimming and always wash your hands after using the bathroom.
They may seem like common sense to you, but with kids it never hurts to have constant reminders. Happy swimming!