Safe Swimming

Think Health and Safety for the Swim Season! 

Public pools and beaches are opening for the season! Here are a few easy steps to take to protect yourself and other swimmers from germs:

Many people have become sick from germs found in contaminated swimming areas. Practice these steps to protect yourself and your family:

  • Keep your head out of the water, use nose clips or hold your nose shut.
  • Don’t swim or submerge your head in stagnant warm bodies of water when air temperatures are high and water levels are low.
  • Don’t swim when you have diarrhea.
  • Practice good hygiene such as showering with soap before and after swimming.
  • Change diapers in a bathroom, not poolside.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly after using the toilet or changing diapers.
  • Don't swallow pool, lake, or river water.
  • Take children on bathroom breaks or change diapers often.

    Naegleria is an ameba commonly found in warm freshwater and soil. Only one species of Naegleria infects people, Naegleria fowleri. It causes a very rare but severe brain infection called primary amebic meningoencephalitis (or PAM). This infection, which is often fatal, happens when Naegleria gets into the nose and travels to the brain.

    Symptoms may occur within one to seven days and starts with headache, fever, nausea, vomiting, and stiff neck. It does not spread person to person. Seek medical attention if you or someone you know develops symptoms after swimming in freshwater.

    While infections with Naegleria fowleri are rare, they usually occur when it is hot for prolonged periods of time, which results in higher water temperatures and lower water levels.

    Ways to reduce the risk of infection:
    • 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; and
    • Avoid digging or stirring up sediment.

    Click here for more information on safe swimming.