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The water’s not always fine

Swimming may be fun (if you like that kind of thing), but it also carries risks….

The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in May issued a report showing that one out of eight public pool inspections in 13 states had resulted in immediate closures due to serious code violations. Many of these pools, especially those designed for children, had “disinfectant violations.” Improper disinfectant and pH levels (a measure of acidity) can result in transmission of germs that can cause diarrhea, the CDC noted.

Common germs that can be transmitted in pools include shigella and norovirus. Chlorine kills most germs within an hour, but it takes longer to kill others, including “crypto,” or cryptosporidium, which can survive for days even in a properly disinfected pool, the CDC said. Among the agency’s recommendations are these:

• Don’t swim when you have diarrhea.

• Don’t swallow pool water.

• Practice good hygiene. Shower with soap before swimming and wash your hands after using the toilet or changing diapers.

• Take kids on frequent bathroom breaks and check diapers often.

• Change diapers in a bathroom or diaper-changing area, not at poolside.

• Wash your children thoroughly (especially the rear end) with soap and water before they go swimming.

— Judy Foreman


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