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National Recreational Water Illness and Injury (RWII) Prevention Week (Health Information)

As swimming season approaches, the Guilford County Department of Public Health would like to remind residents that May 21 to May 27, 2012 is National Recreational Water Illness and Injury (RWII) Prevention Week. This observance is traditionally the week before Memorial Day and has been officially observed for eight years.  Each year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Department of Public Health reach out to residents to educate them about recreational water illnesses (RWIs) and how to prevent them.  RWIs are caused by germs that are either swallowed, breathed in or having contact with contaminated water or aerosols in various water facilities (swimming pools, hot tubs, water parks, water play areas, water fountains, lakes, rivers or oceans).  Common RWIs include diarrhea and skin, ear, respiratory, eye and wound infections. Pregnant women, children and people with weakened immune systems are at the high risk of contracting RWIs.

Here are three steps for all swimmers to help reduce RWIs this season:
• Do not swim if you have diarrhea.  This will spread germs and make other people sick.
• Do not get pool water in your mouth or swallow it.
• Do practice good personal hygiene.  Wash your hands after using the toilet or changing diapers.  Shower with soap before swimming.  Both of these practices will prevent germs from getting into the pool.
Here are three steps especially for parents of young children:
• Wash your child thoroughly with soap and water before swimming.  Make sure to clean the child’s rear end.  Any fecal matter that ends up in the pool may carry and spread germs.
• Change diapers only in the bathroom or diaper-changing area.  Never change diapers on the pool deck, this can transfer germs back into the pool.
• Take your children to the bathroom and check diapers often.  Once you hear “I have to go”, it is probably too late.

RWIs can ruin a perfectly good summer.  Please do your part to minimize the chances of RWIs in the water facilities that you and your family visit and enjoy.

For more information, visit the CDC website at www.cdc.gov or Guilford County Department of Public Health at www.guilfordhealth.org

This entry was posted on Monday, May 21st, 2012 at 8:59 am and is filed under National Recreational Water Illness and Injury (RWII) Prevention Week (Health Information) in DPH Latest News, Children's Health, Adult Health, Environmental Health . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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