crowded-wavepool.jpgToday, the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) issued a press release containing safety tips for public pool swimmers in light of the recent E. colioutbreak that sent five children to the hospital. All five children showed signs of severe gastrointestinal illness after they had played in the Splash Park at the Opelika Sportsplex and Aquatic Center between June 12 and June 18. Four of the five children were hospitalized, and three tested positive for E. coli infection.

Currently the pool is closed for further testing and cleaning. In the meantime, ADPH, in conjunction with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), is recommending the following healthy swimming guidelines for people using recreational water facilities:

Three steps for all swimmers

  1. DO NOT swim when you have diarrhea.
  2. AVOID swallowing water when swimming or playing in lakes, ponds, streams, swimming pools and backyard “kiddie” pools.
  3. Shower with soap before swimming and wash your hands after using the toilet or changing diapers. Germs on your body end up in the water.

Three steps for parents of young children

  1. Take your children on bathroom breaks or check diapers often.
  2. Change diapers in a bathroom or a diaper-changing area and not at poolside.
  3. Wash your children thoroughly with soap and water before they go swimming.

Individuals may also visit CDC’s Healthy Swimming Web site here to learn how to protect themselves and others by following tips for healthy swimming.