Learn how to stay well during Healthy and Safe Swimming Week

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 22, 2019

CONTACT: Lynn Sutfin, 517-241-2112

LANSING, Mich. – The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) is encouraging residents to maximize the health benefits of swimming with healthy and safe habits. As part of these efforts, MDHHS is recognizing May 20-26 as Healthy and Safe Swimming Week.

For the years 2012-2018, 12 outbreaks reported in Michigan were linked to swimming in treated and untreated water locations including pools, hot tubs and freshwater lakes. More than 660 estimated recreational water illnesses (confirmed or suspected) were reported, which is likely an underestimate.

While chlorine and other disinfectants kill many germs within minutes, some germs can survive for days even when water is treated appropriately. For that reason, it’s important to keep germs, human waste, sweat and dirt out of the water we swim in. In addition to making us sick, these materials can combine with chlorine and form chemicals that can make our eyes red and trigger asthma attacks.

Everyone plays a role in preventing pool-related illnesses caused by germs. Here’s what you can do to keep your family safe and healthy this swimming season:

Keep germs out of the water:

  • Stay out of the water if you have diarrhea.
  • Shower before you get in the water.
  • Don’t pee and poop in the water. Take your children out of the pool for hourly bathroom breaks: Every hour – everyone out!

Keep swimmers safe in the water:

  • Make sure everyone knows how to swim.
  • Use life jackets appropriately.
  • Provide continuous, attentive supervision close to swimmers.

Use chemicals safely in your pools: 

  • Read and follow directions on product labels.
  • Open chemical containers safely, using proper protective equipment, in a well-ventilated area.
  • NEVER mix different pool chemicals with each other, especially chlorine products with acid. Add pool chemical to water, NEVER water to pool chemical.
  • Store pool chemicals securely.

For more information and safety tips about preventing swimming illness and injury, visit the CDC website.

 

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