Before taking a swim, take precautionary measures to avoid any potential
health-related issues near areas of water
PHOENIX (July 9, 2018) – Before heading out on a family vacation to a coastal or lakeside area or even taking a swim at the local community pool, it is important to stay alert to avoid situations that may result in potential illness related issues. Although sickness related to microbes found in water is rare, health experts still advise to take precautionary measures to stay healthy during the summer months.
Marti Reich, RN, infection prevention program director at Banner Desert and Cardon Children’s Medical Center recommends the following safety tips to keep in mind while vacationing near a beach:
• Avoid swimming after a heavy rain.
• Be aware of nearby storm drains (pipes that drain polluted water from streets) along the beach and don't swim near them.
• Look for trash and other signs of pollution such as oil slicks in the water. These kinds of pollutants may indicate the presence of disease causing microorganisms that may also have been washed into the water.
Mandeep Rai, MD, infection prevention and control medical director at Banner Thunderbird Medical Center also recommends cleaning any scratches, stings or wounds with fresh, clean water. Only if you are stung by a jelly fish, it is important to wash to the area that was directly affected by the sting with ocean water to help ease and minimize any discomfort.
“Although the initial reaction to heal a jellyfish sting is to cleanse it with other liquids, it can easily be taken care of by washing the area that was impacted by the sting with seawater or and if that’s no longer available, with fresh, clean water,” says Dr. Rai.
If you think your beach or pool water is contaminated, contact the local health or environmental protection officials. It is important for them to know about suspected water contamination so they can protect citizens from exposure.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also recommends that parents with small children should keep these tips in mind while out in areas of water including:
• Staying out of the water if you have diarrhea.
• Take bathroom breaks every 60 minutes.
• Check diapers every 30 to 60 minutes and change diapers away from the water.
• Don’t let children sit on water jets found in splash pads.
Water activities can still be enjoyed by taking these helpful tips in consideration to help prevent your loved ones from the possibility of becoming ill.
About Banner Health
Headquartered in Arizona, Banner Health is one of the largest nonprofit health care systems in the country. The system owns and operates 28 acute-care hospitals, Banner Health Network, Banner – University Medicine, academic and employed physician groups, long-term care centers, outpatient surgery centers and an array of other services; including Banner Urgent Care, family clinics, home care and hospice services, pharmacies and a nursing registry. Banner Health is in six states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Nebraska, Nevada and Wyoming. For more information, visit www.BannerHealth.com.