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It’s Healthy and Safe Swimming Week in Alabama: Avoid chemical injuries

From The Trussville Tribune staff reports

MONTGOMERY — Before diving into summer, the Alabama Department of Public Health wants people to be aware of some dangers that could be lurking in the water.

May 20-26, 2019, is Healthy and Safe Swimming Week. The purpose of the initiative by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is to emphasize the importance of taking simple steps to prevent pool chemical injuries and to promote healthy swimming habits.

While pool chemicals are necessary to kill dangerous germs, human error sometimes plays a role in making the water more dangerous. The mishandling of pool chemicals leads to 3,000 to 5,000 emergency room visits per year, according to the CDC.

ADPH encourages those who plan to participate in recreational water activities this season to take the following steps to prevent illness and injuries:

·        Make sure everyone knows how to swim before participating in recreational water activities.

·        Before getting in the water, do your own mini-inspection.

o        Use a test strip from your local retailer or pool supply store to check basic chemistry levels in pools and spas:

§        Always follow the manufacturer’s directions

§        PH: 7.2 – 7.8

§        Free chlorine: at least 3 parts per million (ppm) in hot tubs and spas and at least 1 ppm in pools and water playgrounds

§        Bromine: at least 4 ppm in hot tubs and spas and at least 3 ppm in pools and water playgrounds

·        Shower before getting in the water.

·        Stay out of the water if sick with diarrhea.

ADPH also encourages safe swimming habits when enjoying natural waters:

·        If a person has open wounds, cuts, abrasions and sores, stay out of the water. In brackish and warm sea water, such as bay or gulf waters, Vibriobacteria occur naturally. These bacteria can cause disease in people who eat contaminated seafood and in those with open wounds that are exposed to seawater.

·        If a person gets a cut while in the water, immediately wash the wound with soap and fresh water. If the wound shows any signs of infection (redness, pain or swelling) or if the cut is deep, get medical attention immediately.

For more information on Healthy and Safe Swimming Week, visit:

·        https://www.cdc.gov/healthywater/observances/hss-week/index.html

·        https://www.cdc.gov/healthywater/swimming/(general healthy swimming tips)

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