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During Holiday Swimming, Michigan Residents Encouraged to Practice

Healthy and Safe Swimming


Contact: Angela Minicuci (517) 241-2112

For Immediate Release: May 20, 2014

LANSING, Mich. Every year, thousands of Americans get sick with recreational water illnesses. To
protect Michigan residents during the holiday when swimming is common, the week before Memorial
Day is recognized as Recreational Water Illness and Injury (RWII) Prevention Week.
Have your eyes ever started to sting and turn red while you were swimming in a pool? Did you think
it was because of the chlorine in the water? Its not actually the chlorine that makes your eyes red,
its chemicals, called chloramines, which are formed when human proteins (for example from sweat
or urine) combine with pool chlorine. Chloramines not only irritate eyes, they also irritate respiratory
functions and can aggravate asthma.
Further, mixing of chlorine with urine not only creates chloramines, it also uses up the chlorine in the
pool that is needed to kill germs. We all share the water we swim in. To prevent chloramines from
forming and to protect yourself and other swimmers from germs, here are a few simple and effective
steps everyone can take each time we swim:
Keep the poop and pee out of the wate
o Dont swim when you have diarrhea.
o Take bathroom breaks every 60 minutes.
o Take children on bathroom breaks every 60 minutes and check diapers every 3060
minutes.
o Change diapers in the bathroom or diaper-changing area and not at the poolside
where germs can rinse into the water.
Shower with soap before you start swimming.
o Wash your hands after using the toilet, changing diapers, or eating.
o Quickly rinse off before you get back into the water.
o
Check the chlorine and pH levels before getting into the water.

o Proper chlorine and pH levels maximize germ-killing power.
o Most superstores, hardware stores, and pool-supply stores sell pool test strips
Dont swallow swimming pool water.

Lastly, general safety around pools is always important. Keep an eye on children at all times, as kids
can drown in seconds and in silence. Dont use air-filled swimming aids (such as water wings) with
children in place of life jackets or life preservers. Protect against sunburn by using a sunscreen with
at least SPF 15 and both UVA and UVB protection, and be sure to re-apply it after swimming.

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