Swimming Safety Tips for the Summer - Home

Swimming Safety Tips for the Summer

Date: June 14, 2017

With the Summer soon approaching, we are all getting excited about getting into that swimming pool.  Swimming is the second-most popular physical activity in the country (walking is first) and the most popular among children.  But swimming can also be associated with drowning, injury, and the spread of infectious diseases if good hygiene is not practiced.


Here are some things to keep in mind regarding swimming and swimming pools:

  • Swimmers who are ill with diarrhea and children who are not yet toilet trained can contaminate the water if they have an "accident" in the pool. Swallowing, breathing, or having contact with contaminated water, even just a small amount, can cause recreational water illnesses (RWIs).
  • RWIs cause a wide variety of symptoms, including skin, ear, respiratory, eye, and wound infections. The most commonly reported RWI is diarrhea.  Children, pregnant women and persons with compromised immune systems are at greatest risk from infection.
  • Chlorine in swimming pools kills the germs that may make people sick, but it takes time. In properly disinfected pools chlorine kills most germs that cause RWIs in less than an hour. But some germs can survive for days, even in a pool that is properly disinfected.
  • If your pool is closed because of an accident, it is with your protection in mind. The length of time a pool is closed is best determined by the certified pool operator in communication with the local health department official.


With your help, RWIs can be prevented and pool closures minimized.  Pool patrons can help by following the “Six P-L-E-As for Protection Against Recreational Water Illnesses.

  • Please don’t swim when you have diarrhea… this is especially important for kids in diapers
  • Please don’t swallow the pool water
  • Please practice good hygiene and wash thoroughly after using the toilet
  • Please take your kids on bathroom breaks often
  • Please change diapers in a bathroom and not at poolside
  • Please wash your child thoroughly (especially the rear end) with soap and water before swimming


Swim diapers combined with rubber pants are strongly recommended for young children.  For older children frequent reminders on bathroom breaks would greatly help minimize the potential for an “accident.” Good hygiene and good communication with your children are the keys to water quality.


You can also go to the following websites for other swimming pool safety information: