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Many Public Pools Contaminated With Human Waste: CDC
Date:5/16/2013

in.

Parents of young children should take the following steps:

  • Take children on bathroom breaks every 60 minutes or check diapers every 30 to 60 minutes.
  • Change diapers in the bathroom or diaper-changing area and not at poolside where germs can rinse into the water.

Dr. Robert Glatter, an emergency medicine physician at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, said the new study "highlights the importance of practicing good hygiene anytime we swim in a pool, since the potential for contamination with fecal organisms, which could lead to severe diarrheal illnesses, remains an ever present concern.

"From a public health standpoint," he added, "it is especially important for people to avoid swimming when they have diarrhea, as other swimmers could swallow germ-laden water and potentially become ill.

The study reveals a "true public health concern, and reinforces the need to practice safe and effective swim hygiene as the summer approaches," Glattner said.

The study appears in the May 17 issue of the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. Its release is timed in advance of Recreational Water Illness and Injury Prevention Week, May 20-26. The goal of the prevention week is to "raise awareness about healthy swimming, including ways to prevent recreational water illnesses (RWIs). Germs that cause RWIs are spread by swallowing, breathing in the mists or aerosols from, or having contact with contaminated water in swimming pools, water parks, hot tubs, interactive fountains, water play areas, lakes, rivers, or oceans," according to the CDC.

More information

For more on healthy swimming visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

-- HealthDay staff

SOURCES: Robert Glatter, M.D., emergency medicine physician, Lenox Hill
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