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What are Recreational Water Illnesses?

What is the first thing that pops into your head when you think about water safety? Drowning? Slipping? Lightning? All great answers, and all are very important. But, did you know that germs can contaminate swimming water? These germs cause Recreational Water Illnesses (RWIs) that have made many people sick in the past. We have included here six important Healthy Swimming Behaviors recommended by the CDC that will help you and your family swim safely and stay healthy.

Three "PLEAs" for All Swimmers

Practice these three "PLEAs" to stop germs from causing illness at the pool:

Please don't swim when you have diarrhea. This is especially important for kids in diapers. You can spread germs in the water and make other people sick.

Please don't swallow the pool water. In fact, avoid getting water in your mouth.

Please practice good hygiene. Take a shower before swimming and wash your hands after using the toilet or changing diapers. Germs on your body end up in the water.

Three "PLEAs" for Parents of Young Kids

Follow these three "PLEAs" to keep germs out of the pool and your community:

Please take your kids on bathroom breaks or check diapers often. Waiting to hear "I have to go" may mean that it's too late.

Please change diapers in a bathroom and not at poolside. Germs can spread to surfaces and objects in and around the pool and spread illness.

Please wash your child thoroughly (especially the rear end) with soap and water before swimming. Everyone has invisible amounts of fecal matter on their bottoms that ends up in the pool.

My Pool Pal recognizes the importance of safe swimming environments and are working hard to educate the public, along with organizations such as Safe Kids, YMCAs, the Red Cross, CDC, Florida Swim Academy, major theme parks, various water parks and state agencies to educate the public about healthy swimming tips. For even more information on how to stay healthy and safe in and around the water, visit the CDC Healthy Swimming Website.

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