Swim Away from Sickness

More on pools and swimming safety:

  • How safe is your public pool's water? The shocking truth, exposed!
  • Use these 7 strategies to help your kids learn to swim safely.
  • Swimming is a healthy form of exercise, but be aware of the water you are swimming in. It might contain bacteria, such as Giardia, Shigella or E. coli, that could make your family ill. Chlorine can take up to an hour to kill these germs, leaving swimmers vulnerable.

    To help prevent waterborne illness, the national Centers for Disease Control (CDC) offers these healthy swimming tips:

    • Don’t swim when you have diarrhea.

    • Don’t swallow pool water.

    • Shower before swimming, and wash your hands after using the bathroom or changing diapers.

    • Take children on frequent bathroom breaks, and check diapers often.

    • Change diapers in the bathroom, not at poolside where germs can spread to surfaces in and around the pool.

    • Wash your young child – especially the diaper area – with soap and water before swimming.

    For more information, visit

    Find more Summer Safety Tips in our Summer Safety Survival Guide.

    More Health Notes

    Christina Elston is a freelance writer specializing in health issues.