Staying Healthy While Swimming This Summer

Published: May 16th, 2012

Category: Student Health Care Center Blog

young adults at beachSummer is starting and that means it’s time to bring out those swim suits and head to the pool, beach, the lake, or Ginnie Springs. But these recreational waters can get contaminated with bacteria and viruses which could get you or your friends sick. The most common illnesses cause stomach and intestinal upsets which are accompanied with vomiting or diarrhea. These illnesses for the most part are not dangerous and go away within a few days, but they do make it difficult to enjoy summer activities you planned!

                You may be thinking that you won’t get an illness from a swimming pool because they are treated with chemicals. But, the chlorine doesn’t kill germs right away. This could be a common place to get an illness here because the apartment pools are shared by many people especially during pool party season! The natural water sources get their contamination from rainwater runoff. This can be fixed by people cleaning up after their dogs, and by watching what chemicals you put in your yard.

What to do to prevent illness:

                These illnesses can be prevented from just your knowledge that there is a possibility that you will get sick. With many popular public beaches, health departments test them regularly for contamination, so before heading to a beach or lake check with that local health department to see if it is safe. Also if it has rained within the last 24 hours it is best to check out any dangers before getting in the water. As for swimming pools, you can’t personally check to make sure that there aren’t any bacteria before jumping in. With all sources of water there are some water safety tips:

  • Shower before and after going into a swimming pool.
  • Stay out of water if you’ve had diarrhea in the last 2 weeks to help protect others from infectious germs.
  • Try not to swallow recreational water.
  • Avoid swimming or playing near places where storm water is released on the beach.
  • Stay out of the water for at least 24 hours after a storm.
  • Always wash your hands before you eat or drink.