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Practice Safe & Healthy Swimming

As pool and lake season approaches, the Allen County Health Department wants to remind the community to practice safe and healthy swimming.

Healthy and Safe Swimming Week is designated May 20–26 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) with the goal to maximize the health benefits of swimming by minimizing the risk of illness and injury. Just two-and-a-half hours of physical activity every week – including water-based physical activity – can benefit everyone’s health. But everyone also plays a part in preventing illnesses and injuries linked to swimming.

Nearly 500 outbreaks were linked to pools, hot tubs/spas and water playgrounds/splash pads in the U.S. from 2000-2014, and most were caused by the germs Cryptosporidium (or “Crypto”), Legionella or Pseudomonas. But pool operators and health inspectors need the public’s help in ensuring pools, spas and splash pads stay clean and germ-free throughout the season. So remember:

• Don’t swim or let children swim if sick with diarrhea.

• Rinse off in the shower before getting in the water. Rinsing off for just one minute removes most of the dirt or anything else on your body that could contaminate the water.

• Don’t pee or poop in the water.

• Check the latest public pool, hot tub/spa, and water playground inspections at:

Water safety is also very important, since drowning is a leading cause of death for children one to four years old. Be sure to keep swimmers safe in the water by following these tips:

• Make sure everyone knows how to swim.

• Use U.S. Coast Guard–approved life jackets as directed.

• Provide continuous, attentive supervision close to swimmers.

• Know CPR.

• Prevent access to water when a pool is not in use by installing and maintaining barriers like four-sided fencing, and using locks or alarms for windows and doors. Check with the Allen County Department of Planning Services at (260) 449-7607 for required fence heights around a residential swimming pool.

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