National Recreational Water Illness and Injury Prevention Week is coming up next week. Healthy swimming depends on paying attention to basic health, hygiene, sun-safety, and what swimmers bring into the pool (and what they don’t). For starters, remind your kids to take a sunscreen, hydration, and bathroom break every hour when swimming. You might also want to start the summer off right by getting your kids a UV protective swim shirt. After all… 90% of lifetime sun exposure happens before you’re 20- so you can have a big influence on your kid’s lifetime risk for skin cancer. And remember- there’s no substitute for adult supervision especially for rookie swimmers.
Hygiene tips include not swimming when you (or your kids) have diarrhea, reminding your kids not to swallow pool water, and practicing good hygiene (shower before swimming and wash your hands after changing diapers). And remember- little kids should have a swim diaper… and always change diapers in the bathroom or diaper-changing areas (not poolside). You can visit our Waterborne Disease site and a new CDC report about fecal contamination in pools to learn more.
This year we’ll be holding a healthy swimming video contest to build awareness of safe swimming. Kids can create a 2-minute healthy swimming video to help educate people about safe swimming including sun safety, staying hydrated while swimming, and preventing the spread of germs at pools, lakes, and water parks. The deadline for submission is June 16th and the website has the complete details and contest rules. The winning video will be used in a statewide water safety campaign. Last year’s winning video is up on YouTube.