Public Health offers tips to stay safe and healthy in the water this summer

Published 4:21 pm Friday, June 1, 2018

For many in Southwest Georgia, school is out and the pool is open. Southwest Health District has tips to help residents to stay safe and healthy while enjoying time in the water this summer.

“We encourage parents to teach their children to swim or enroll them in swimming lessons,” said Southwest Health District Health Director Dr. Charles Ruis. “Even if you don’t have regular access to pool, there is the possibility that your child could play alongside a pond or a rain-filled ditch and fall in. Being able to swim would give your child a skill that would serve well in that scenario and throughout his or her lifetime.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control, drowning kills more young children one through four years old than anything else except birth defects.

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“Drowning prevention is vital,” Ruis said. “You can help prevent children from drowning not only by teaching swimming skills, but by having them wear life vests and swimming under the close supervision of parents, caregivers or lifeguards who know cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR)”.

Other healthy swimming practices are also important he said. “Whether in the pool, the hot tub or water playground, we can all help protect ourselves and our loved ones from germs by following five simple but effective steps.”

Don’t swim or let children swim when sick with diarrhea.

Don’t swallow the water.

Take kids on bathroom breaks every hour.

Check diapers; and change them in a bathroom or diaper-changing area—not poolside—to keep germs away from the pool.

Shower before getting in the water. Rinsing off in the shower for just one minute helps get rid of any germs that might be on your body.