A new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says many public swimming pools are dirty. According to the report, one in eight swimming pools in 13 states in 2008 were closed after inspections for code violations.
From the CDC:
Overall, inspections of child care facility pools had the highest percentage of immediate closures (17.2 percent), followed by inspections of hotel/motel pools (15.3 percent), and apartment/condo pools (12.4 percent). Inspections of kiddie/wading pools (13.5 percent) and interactive fountains (12.6 percent) had the highest percentage of disinfectant violations. Improper disinfectant and pH levels in the water can result in transmission of germs, such as Shigella and norovirus, which cause gastroenteritis.
Among other recommendations, the CDC encourages swimmers to follow the Six Steps for Healthy Swimming:
- Donâ€²t swim when you have diarrhea.
- Donâ€²t swallow pool water.
- Practice good hygiene. 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.
- Take your kids on bathroom breaks or check diapers often.
- Change diapers in a bathroom or a diaper-changing area and not at poolside.
- Wash your children thoroughly (especially the rear end) with soap and water before they go swimming.