Stay Healthy and Safe While Swimming This Summer

For Immediate Release
May 29, 2014

(Indianapolis) – As swimming pools open for the summer, the Marion County Public Health Department wants to remind everyone about the importance of healthy swimming water and pool safety.

Each year, people get sick from germs found in recreational water. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says Recreational Water Illnesses are caused by germs that contaminate water in pools, as well as lakes and the ocean. Just one person can easily contaminate the water in a large pool or water park.

Swimmers should follow these six steps to help protect themselves and others at the pool:

  • Don’t swim when you or a child has diarrhea. Germs can spread in the water and make others sick.
  • Don’t swallow pool water and avoid getting water in your mouth.
  • Practice good hygiene. Shower with soap before and after swimming and wash hands after using the bathroom or changing diapers.
  • Take kids on a bathroom break or check diapers often.
  • Change diapers in a bathroom or changing area and not near the side of the pool.
  • Wash children with soap and water, especially their bottoms, before they get in the pool.

The Marion County Public Health Department helps protect swimmers by inspecting public pools to test water quality and provide education to pool operators about maintaining healthy water. However, it takes the interest of pool users to help keep pools clean and safe.

“Swimming is a popular activity that is fun and offers many health benefits,” says Dr. Virginia A. Caine, Director of the Marion County Public Health Department. “Everyone needs to take an active role in protecting kids and adults from unhealthy water in swimming pools.”

In addition to staying healthy at the pool, it’s just as important to be safe. Adults are reminded to keep an eye on children at all times. Kids can drown in seconds without making a sound. Drowning is the leading cause of injury death among children ages 1–4. Parents should use life jackets on children and avoid using air-filled swimming aids on children such as water wings or other toys that will offer the appropriate level of protection. And, protect against sunburn by frequently applying a sunscreen that is SPF 15 or higher and has both UVA and UVB protection.

For more information about healthy swimming and Recreational Water Illnesses, visit the Marion County Public Health Department website at, or call 317-221-2270.

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Media Contact:
Curt Brantingham
Media/Public Information Coordinator
317-221-2316 (o) │ 317-525-7450 (c)