It’s that time of year when we head to pool parties, take the kids for a swim, jump in a fountain and hit the water parks. While recreational waters offer the perfect way to cool down during hot summer months, they’re also a source of serious germs. Unfortunately, chlorine doesn’t kill all germs immediately—some bacteria can live in chlorinated water for up to 10 days. This means germs can spread in even the best-maintained waters, leaving you and the kiddies at risk for scary Recreational Water Illnesses (RWIs).
RWIs are caused by swallowing, swimming or having contact with water contaminated with bacteria. They can lead to serious ear, eye, respiratory, skin or intestinal infections, including Cryptosporidiosis, which is caused by the Cryptosporidium parasite “Crypto”). Common RWI symptoms include stomach cramps, diarrhea, vomiting and fever.
Most people don’t consider hygiene when they jump in a pool or other recreational water. Few shower prior to taking a swim and may be coming from a sweaty workout, doing yardwork, working construction—just imagine the possibilities.
Read on to learn how to prevent RWIs.
Don’t Swallow Water We Swim In
When you go for a swim, it’s easy to accidentally swallow water—even more so for children. Focus on limiting those accidental gulps and remind children to avoid swallowing at all costs. Teach children early on to plug their noses when going under water.
Shower Before and After Swimming
One of the best ways to protect against RWIs is to shower before and immediately after going in any recreational water. This stops you from bringing germs into the water and helps remove any you pick up. Use soap and rinse for at least one full minute.
Wash Hands Thoroughly
Thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water for a minimum of 20 seconds after any recreational water activity.
Spray Down Your Gear
Spray down flip flops, swimming gear and snorkels with an athletic gear and fitness center antibacterial spray like Clear Gear. Do this as soon as you’ve showered to avoid contamination and kill bacteria.
Avoid Recreational Water After a Stomach Bug
Make sure you and your children avoid swimming for at least two weeks after experiencing diarrhea. Fecal matter can easily get into the water easily after recent stomach issues.
Use Swim Diapers
If you have a child still in diapers, put them in a swim diaper before hitting recreational waters. Check diapers every hour and don’t change them on a pool deck; do it inside a restroom.
Do Your Own Test
The CDC recommends testing chlorine and pH levels yourself with portable test strips.
Visit this link to learn more about Clear Gear, the most powerful swimming gear and fitness center antibacterial spray available.