May 31 2017

Swimming Season Arrives; Department Reminds Citizens About Safe Swimming Practices


As warmer weather arrives and swimming pools reopen, St. Louis residents are heading out to take part in the popular summer activity. During the swimming season, the Saint Louis County Department of Public Health reminds citizens that pool safety is an important part of their summer fun.

“People should be aware of the risks associated with swimming,” said Dr. Fredrick Echols, director of Communicable Disease Control Services at the Saint Louis County Department of Public Health. “It is important that residents take proper pool safety and health measures to protect themselves and others.”

Checking the quality of the pool is the first step residents can take towards protecting individual and public health. Pool safety can be evaluated by doing the following:

 Check the pool’s latest inspection report.
 Make sure the drain at the bottom of the deep end is visible.
 Check that the drain covers at the bottom appear to be secured and in good repair.
 Check for a lifeguard: If on duty, a lifeguard should be focused on the swimmers and not distracted. If there is no lifeguard on duty, a "No Lifeguard on Duty" sign should be posted. In the case of no lifeguard, check to see where safety equipment, such as a rescue ring or pole, is located.
 Make sure no chemicals are out in the open.
People are also encouraged to protect themselves and others from recreational water illnesses (RWIs) such as diarrheal illness, ear infections, rashes, and respiratory infections by taking the following measures:
 Shower before entering the pool.
 Stay out of the pool if you have an open wound that is not sealed with a waterproof bandage.
 Do not swim if you have diarrhea or have been sick within the last two weeks. Even small amounts of fecal matter can infect an entire pool and make others sick.
 Take children on bathroom breaks and check diapers every hour. Change diapers in a bathroom or changing area, not by the poolside.

Finally, swimmers are encouraged to protect themselves against sunburn by regularly applying sunscreen with a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of 15 or higher.

For more information about swimming pool safety and RWIs, visit:

www.cdc.gov/healthywater/swimming/swimmers/steps-healthy-swimming.html

www.cdc.gov/healthywater/swimming/swimmers/rwi.html






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