Best part of the first really hot day of summer? Jumping into a pool of cool water! Even as an adult, I still look forward to cooling off with a cannonball into the lake. Pools and lakes offer a wide range of fun activities during the hot months — but they come with some dangers as well.
Recreational water illness (RWI) is a variety of illnesses caused by germs that can contaminate water in pools, lakes, and even the ocean. But by following LAAPS, you can have a fun and safe summer in the water!
Look – Always check your surroundings and check for clean and clear pool water, and make sure that the pool equipment is working properly.
Ask – Be sure to ask questions of the pool staff if in a public pool. Ask when and how often the chlorine and pH levels are checked and what special training, if any, the pool staff receives on operating the pool.
Act – Check pool water yourself with store-bought kits. Free chlorine levels should be between 1 and 3 parts per million; pH between 7.2 and 7.8. Chlorine test strips can be bought at local home improvement and pool supply stores.
Practice – Healthy swimming behaviors are the key to prevention. Here’s how you can help prevent spreading germs:
- Avoid swallowing pool water.
- Shower before swimming.
- Always wash your hands after using the bathroom.
- Take children on regular bathroom breaks when they are in the water.
Safety – It is important to keep an eye on children at all times. Also make sure to have proper life preservers and life jackets on children when they are in the water.
Make a splash this summer — and swim LAAPS around RWI!
Where do you like to swim?