Archive for Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Five questions: Swimming safely

KDHE offers tips for summer in the water

Visitors cool off at the Baldwin City Municipal Pool in this file photo. Whether at a pool or a lake, swimmers should protect against drowning and illness.

Visitors cool off at the Baldwin City Municipal Pool in this file photo. Whether at a pool or a lake, swimmers should protect against drowning and illness.

June 12, 2012, 1:16 p.m.

Updated: June 13, 2012, 12:00 a.m.

This week, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment provides tips on keeping safe while you’re swimming this summer.

Q: What sorts of dangers do we need to watch out for when swimming?

A: Every year, thousands of Americans get sick with recreational water illnesses, which are caused by germs, chemicals or harmful algal blooms. And nationally, every day, two children younger than the age of 14 die from drowning.

Q: What are the best ways to protect against drowning?

A: First, make sure that everyone knows how to swim and older children and adults know CPR. In the water, keep swimmers safe by using life jackets for younger or weaker swimmers, and provide continuous, attentive supervision even if there is a lifeguard.

Q: If we have a pool at home, how do we keep everyone safe while we’re not using it?

A: Prevent access to the water by installing and maintaining barriers (four-sided fencing and weight-bearing covers) and by using locks or alarms for windows and doors.

Q: What about illness? How should we protect against that?

A: Prevention requires swimmers to take an active role in protecting themselves and other swimmers. Don’t swim when you have diarrhea; don’t swallow any water you are swimming in; shower before swimming and wash your hands after using the toilet or changing diapers.

Q: How can I make sure my kids aren’t spreading illness?

A: Parents of young children should remember to wash their children before swimming (especially their rear ends), check diapers every 30 to 60 minutes and take your kids to the bathroom every 30 to 60 minutes.

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