For Immediate Release Connecticut Department of Public Health
May 28, 2010 Contact: William Gerrish
Hartford — As the warm weather approaches, the Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH) encourages Connecticut residents to adopt healthy swimming behaviors, including ways to prevent recreational water illnesses (RWIs).
“Swimming is a wonderful way to enjoy the warm weather and exercise,” said DPH Commissioner Dr. J. Robert Galvin. “Whether you’re enjoying some of Connecticut’s beautiful shoreline or relaxing in a swimming pool, it’s important that people enjoy the water safely.”
RWIs are caused by germs spread by swallowing, breathing in mists or aerosols of, or having contact with contaminated water in swimming pools, water parks, hot tubs, interactive fountains, water play areas, lakes, rivers, or oceans.
Having the right disinfectant and pH levels in recreational water is essential to stopping the spread of germs that cause RWIs. Although local health department inspectors check to make sure these levels are right, pools can’t be checked every day. To help ensure a healthy swimming experience every time, we encourage swimmers to follow the Triple A’s of Healthy Swimming: Awareness, Action, and Advocacy.
Learn how to protect yourself and others from RWIs and follow the steps for healthy swimming (below)
- Ask the pool operator about chlorine and pH levels and request information on the latest pool inspection
- Educate other swimmers about RWIs to promote healthy swimming
Swimmers should avoid swallowing the water that they are swimming in. To help keep the water safe for swimming, steps should be taken to prevent fecal matter from getting into the swimming water. This includes not swimming when you are sick, showering before swimming, washing your hands after using the toilet or changing diapers and taking children on bathroom breaks and checking diapers often.
Always remember to never swim alone and ALWAYS supervise children both in and around the water.
For more information, please visit the following websites:
- Connecticut Department of Public Health: www.ct.gov/dph
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: www.cdc.gov/healthyswimming
- Environmental Protection Agency’s beaches website: www.epa.gov/beaches
The Connecticut Department of Public Health is the state’s leader in public health policy and advocacy with a mission to protect and promote the health and safety of the people of our state. To contact the department, please visit its website at www.ct.gov/dph or call (860) 509-7270.