Swimming and playing in lakes, rivers, pools and other water can cause you or your family to get sick. Take steps to stay healthy.
Illness can be caused by germs and chemicals found in the water we swim or play in. This includes swimming pools, water parks, hot tubs, splash pads, and freshwater such as lakes, and rivers. Swallowing, breathing in mists of, or having contact with unclean water can spread illness.
The most common type of illness is diarrhea. Cryptosporidium, E. coli, norovirus, and Shigella are common germs that cause illness.
The most common symptoms of these illnesses include diarrhea (sometimes bloody), vomiting, stomach cramps, loss of appetite, weight loss, and fever. Other illnesses can cause skin, ear, eye, breathing, or brain symptoms.
Protect yourself, your family, and others:
- Stay out of the water if you have diarrhea.
- Shower before and after swimming.
- Don’t drink the water. Tell children not to drink or take the water into their mouth.
- Take children to the bathroom often.
- Change diapers often and away from the water. Wash your hands and the child’s hands after changing diapers.
Naegleria fowleri is a rare but deadly brain infection. This infection enters your body through the nose. The only sure way to prevent Naegleria fowleri infection is to avoid freshwater-related activities. You can reduce the risk of infection by limiting the amount of water going up the nose. When taking part in water-related activities in bodies of warm freshwater:
- Avoid warm freshwater when the water temperature is high and the water level is low.
- Avoid putting your head under the water.
- Hold your nose shut or use nose clips.
- Avoid digging or stirring up the sediment.
Our summers are short. Get out, enjoy the water, and follow these easy steps to keep you and your family healthy.