Healthy swimming behaviors encouraged
In observance of National Recreational Water Illness and Injury (RWII) Week (May 21 â€“ 27, 2012), the Fulton County Department of Health and Wellness, Division of Environmental Health Services encourages residents to use healthy swimming behaviors to prevent recreational water illnesses during the season of fun and splash.Â
RWIIs are caused by germs spread by swallowing, breathing in mists or aerosols of, or having contact with contaminated water in swimming pools, water parks, hot tubs, interactive fountains, water play areas, lakes, rivers, or oceans.
The best way to prevent RWIs is to keep germs out of the pool in the first place. Everyone can help create healthy swimming experiences by following these six steps:
- PLEASE donâ€™t swim when you have diarrhea.
- PLEASE donâ€™t swallow pool water.
- PLEASE practice good hygiene. Shower with soap before swimming and wash your Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â hands after using the toilet or changing diapers.
- PLEASE take your kids on bathroom breaks or check diapers often.
- PLEASE change diapers in a bathroom or a diaper-changing area and not at poolside.
- PLEASE prepare children for swimming by bathing them thoroughly with soap and water.
Layers of Protection
In addition to preventing recreational water illnesses, parents should incorporate the concept of "layers of protection" to keep their children safe.Â This means the pool, spa, or hot tub should be equipped with several devices to delay unsupervised access or warn of a child's presence. Following are some options for protecting children and preventing accidents:Â
- Fencing: Isolate the swimming pool with a minimum five-foot-high enclosure.
- Safety Covers: An impenetrable covering that completely covers the pool, spa, or hot tub will prevent access to the water when there is not supervision.
- Alarms: Alarms are available for doors, fences, in pools, and as a clip-on for children. Alarms detect unwanted entrances to your pool, spa, or hot tub.
- Rope and Float Line: Place these across the pool to alert swimmers to the separation of the deep end (5â€™ or greater) from the shallow end of the pool.
- Rescue Equipment: Equipment such as a life ring and shepherd's hook should be placed near the pool in an easily accessible spot.
- Posted Emergency Information: Post all CPR, other emergency information, and warning signs, as well as the emergency telephone number - 911 - near the pool, spa, or hot tub.
- Outside Telephone: Be sure to have a telephone in case you need to summon help.
For more information about National Recreational Water Illness and Injury Week and water safety, log-on to www.fultoncountygahealth.org.