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Florida Department of Health in Brevard County Celebrates Healthy and Safe Swimming Week

By Florida Department of Health in Brevard County

May 19, 2019

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May 19, 2019

Florida Department of Health in Brevard County Celebrates Healthy and Safe Swimming Week

Contact:
DOH-Brevard - Environmental Health
Cynthia.Leckey@flhealth.gov
(321) 633-2100

Viera, Fla.The week before Memorial Day (May 20-26, 2019) is Healthy and Safe Swimming Week. The goal of this awareness week is to maximize the health benefits of swimming by minimizing the risk of illness and injury. Just 2.5 hours of physical activity every week, including water-based physical activity, can benefit everyone’s health. Each of us plays a role in preventing illnesses and injuries linked to the water we swim, play, and relax in and share, this summer and year-round.

Injuries caused by mishandling pool chemicals:

Why is this important?

Pool chemicals are added to maintain water quality (for example, to kill germs). Each year, however, mishandling pool chemicals when treating public or residential/backyard pools, hot tubs/spas, and water playgrounds leads to 3,000 -5,000 visits to U.S. emergency departments.

For more info, visit: https://www.cdc.gov/healthywater/swimming/aquatics-professionals/preventing-pool-chemical-events.html

A Few Simple But Effective Prevention Steps We Can All Take:

  • Operators and residential owners:
    • Read and follow directions on product labels.
    • Wear appropriate safety equipment, such as goggles, when handling pool chemicals. Check product labels for directions on what to wear.
    • Secure pool chemicals to protect people, particularly young
      children, and animals.
    • Add pool chemical poolside ONLY when directed by product label
      and when no one is in the water. Prevent violent, potentially explosive, reactions.
    • NEVER mix different pool chemicals with each other, particularly
      chlorine products and acid.
    • Pre-dissolve pool chemicals ONLY when directed by product label.
    • Add pool chemical to water, NEVER water to pool chemical.

 Order FREE printed and laminated poster on safe storage and poster on safe use at:
wwwn.cdc.gov/pubs/CDCInfoOnDemand.aspx?ProgramID=93

Illnesses caused by the germs in pools, hot tubs/spas and water playgrounds:

Why is this important?

During 2000–2014, nearly 500 outbreaks were linked to pools, hot tubs/spas, and water playgrounds. Most of the outbreaks were caused by germs Cryptosporidium (or “Crypto”), Legionella, or Pseudomonas.

Healthy swimming is not just about the steps pool operators and pool inspectors take—so let’s all do our part to help keep ourselves, our families, and our friends healthy this summer and year-round.

For more info, visit:www.cdc.gov/healthyswimming

A Few Simple But Effective Prevention Steps We Can All Take:

  • Everyone:
    • Don’t swim or let your kids swim if sick with diarrhea.
    • Check the latest public pool, hot tub/spa, and water playground
      inspection scores online or onsite.
    • Before getting in the water, do your own mini-inspection.
    • Use a test strip from your local retailer or pool supply store to
      check if the water’s pH and free chlorine or bromine level are
      correct:
      • Follow the manufacturer’s directions.
      • pH: 7.2–7.8
      • Free chlorine: at least 3 ppm in hot tubs/spas and at least 1
        ppm in pools and water playgrounds
      • Bromine: at least 4 ppm in hot tubs/spas and at least 3 ppm
        in pools and water playgrounds

For additional inspection steps, visit:
https://www.cdc.gov/healthywater/swimming/materials/infographic-inspection.html

Rinse off in the shower before you get in the water. Rinsing off for just 1 minute removes most of the dirt or anything else on your body that could contaminate the water. Don’t pee or poop in the water.

Order FREE printed Healthy Swimming brochures (in English and Spanish) at:
wwwn.cdc.gov/pubs/CDCInfoOnDemand.aspx?ProgramID=93

Drowning:

Why is this important?

Each day, two children younger than 14 years old die from drowning. Drowning is a leading cause of death for children 1-4 years old. 

For more info, visit:
https://www.cdc.gov/homeandrecreationalsafety/water-safety/waterinjuries-factsheet.html

A Few Simple But Effective Prevention Steps We Can All Take:

  • Keep swimmers safe in the water.
    • Make sure everyone knows how to swim.
    • Use U.S. Coast Guard–approved life jackets as directed.
    • Provide continuous, attentive supervision close to swimmers.
    • Know CPR.
  • Prevent access to water when pool is not in use.
    • Install and maintain barriers like 4-sided fencing.
    • Use locks/alarms for windows and doors.

Harmful algal blooms:

Why is this important?

Algae can grow in warm, nutrient-rich fresh- and marine water. An abundant growth of algae that harms people or animals is referred to as a harmful algal bloom (HAB). HABs in fresh- and marine water can produce toxins that cause a variety of symptoms including skin irritation, coughing, sneezing, diarrhea, stomach pain, numbness, and dizziness. Symptoms vary depending on the type of HAB toxin and the type of exposure, such as skin contact, ingestion by eating food or drinking water contaminated with HAB toxins or breathing in tiny droplets or mist contaminated with HAB toxins.

For more info, visit: www.cdc.gov/habs

A Few Simple But Effective Prevention Steps We Can All Take:

  • Avoid water that contains harmful algal blooms—when in doubt, stay out!
  • Look for water body or beach advisories from local public health authorities or beach managers. If the beach is closed, stay out.
  • Don’t swim, water ski, or boat in areas where the water is discolored or where you see foam, scum, or mats of algae on the water’s surface.
  • Avoid entering or swimming in bodies of water if you see dead fish or other dead animals in the water or on the beach.
  • Keep children and pets from playing in or drinking scummy water. Get out and rinse off with clean water as soon as possible, if you swim in water where there might be a harmful algal bloom.
  • Rinse off pets, especially dogs, immediately, if they swim in scummy water. Do not let them lick the algae off their fur.

Naegleria fowleri "the brain-eating ameba":

Why is this important?

Naegleria fowleri is a microscopic ameba (a single-celled living organism) that is commonly found in warm freshwater such as in lakes, rivers, and hot springs. If water containing the ameba goes up the nose forcefully, the ameba can invade and cause a rare and devastating infection of the brain called primary amebic meningoencephalitis (PAM).

For more info, visit: www.cdc.gov/parasites/naegleria

A Few Simple But Effective Prevention Steps We Can All Take:

Naegleria fowleri infections are rare.

The only certain way to prevent an infection due to swimming is to stay out of freshwater. However, you can reduce your chance of getting an infection by limiting the amount of freshwater going up your nose. To limit the amount of freshwater going up your nose:

  • Hold your nose or use nose clips when taking part in fresh water related activities.
  • Avoid putting your head underwater in hot springs and other bodies of warm freshwater.
  • Avoid water-related activities in all bodies of warm freshwater, during periods of higher than normal water temperature.
  • Avoid digging in or stirring up mud and scum while taking part in water-related activities in shallow, warm freshwater.

 About the Florida Department of Health

The department, nationally accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board, works to protect, promote and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county and community efforts.

Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter at @HealthyFla. For more information about the Florida Department of Health please visit www.FloridaHealth.gov.