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  • Steps of Healthy Swimming: Protection Against Recreational Water Illnesses (RWIs)
    (Info provided by the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention

    • You can choose to swim healthy! You have the power to help keep germs out the water in places we swim in the first place. Remember, chlorine and other disinfectants don’t kill germs instantly. Additionally, the mixing of chlorine with pee and sweat uses up the chlorine in the pool, which would otherwise kill germs.


    • We all share the water we swim in, and each of us needs to do our part to help keep ourselves, our families, and our friends healthy. To help protect yourself and other swimmers from germs, here are a few easy and effective steps all swimmers can take each time we swim:

      Keep the pee, poop, sweat, and dirt out of the water!

      • Stay out of the water if you have diarrhea.

      • Shower before you get in the water.

      • Don’t pee or poop in the water.

      • Don’t swallow the water

    • Every hour—everyone out!

      • Take kids on bathroom breaks.

      • Check diapers, and change them in a bathroom or diaper changing area–not poolside–to keep germs away from the pool.

      • Reapply sunscreen.

      • Drink plenty of fluids.

  • Swim Diapers & Swim Pants

    • The use of swim diapers and swim pants might give users, parents, and pool staff a false sense of security regarding fecal contamination.

    • Some research has looked into how well swim diapers and swim pants are able to keep feces (poop) and infection-causing germs from leaking into the pool. Even though swim diapers and swim pants might hold in some solid feces, they are not leak proof. Swim diapers can delay diarrhea-causing germs like, Cryptosporidium, from leaking into the water for a few minutes, but swim diapers do not keep these germs from contaminating the water. No manufacturers claim these products prevent leakage of diarrhea into pools.

    • All swimmers should stay out of the water when they are ill with diarrhea, even if they are wearing swim diapers or swim pants. They risk contaminating the pool with feces and germs, which can make others sick.

    • Swim diapers and swim pants are not a substitute for frequent diaper changing and bathroom breaks. It is recommended that swim diapers and swim pants are checked frequently and changed away from the poolside.

  • Pool operators should ensure that:

    • All patrons understand the importance of NOT swimming when ill with diarrhea.

    • Caregivers/users frequently (approximately every 30 to 60 minutes) check swim diapers and swim pants and change them away from the poolside (for example, in the bathroom). This will allow for washing hands after diaper/pants changing and reduce the chance of fecal and germ contamination of areas around the pool. It can also reduce the amount of urine in the pool that binds with disinfectant and creates irritants in the air (see Irritants (Chloramines) & Indoor Pool Air Quality).


Please click the following links for more information on Pool safety and healthy swimming:

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