For more information contact:
Skip Parr or Audrey Balander at (607) 274-6688
Celebrate the Summer with Healthy and Safe Swimming
(May 25, 2012 – Ithaca, N.Y.) – Every year, thousands of Americans get sick with recreational water illnesses (RWIs), which are caused by germs found in places where we swim. And every day, two children in the United States under the age of 14 years die from drowning; it is the leading cause of injury death for children 1–4 years old. Healthy and safe swimming means preventing the spread of the germs that cause RWIs and keeping children safe from drowning.
To reduce the risk of drowning:
- Prepare by making sure that:
- Everyone knows how to swim
- Older children and adults know CPR
- When in the water, keep swimmers safe by:
- Using life jackets that fit younger or weaker swimmers appropriately
- Providing continuous, attentive supervision close to the swimmers even if there is a lifeguard
- Avoiding alcohol and drugs when swimming or supervising swimmers
- When NOT in the water, prevent access to the water by:
- Installing and maintaining barriers (for pools: 4-sided fencing and weight-bearing covers)
- Using locks or alarms for windows and doors
For more information about drowning prevention, visit:
To help prevent the spread of germs that cause RWIs swimmers should take these simple steps:
- Don't swim when you have diarrhea. You can spread germs in the water and make others sick.
- Don't swallow pool water and avoid getting water in your mouth.
- Practice good hygiene. Shower with soap before swimming and wash your hands after using the toilet or changing diapers. Germs on your body end up in the water.
- Parents of young children should remember to:
- Wash their children thoroughly before swimming (especially the rear end).
- Check diapers every 30–60 minutes. Change diapers in a bathroom or a diaper-changing area and not at poolside. Germs can spread in and around the pool.
- Take your kids on bathroom breaks every 30–60 minutes and check diapers often. Waiting to hear "I have to go" may mean that it's too late.
For more information about healthy swimming, visit www.cdc.gov/healthyswimming/.