UV systems help reduce the risk of swimmers getting sick in swimming pools. The most common symptom of parasites in recreational water illness is diarrhea. Children and pregnant women can become violently ill from an infestation of Cryptosporidium or Giardia. People with compromised immune systems, such as people with AIDS and cancer patients receiving chemotherapy, are at risk of dying if infested with Cryptosporidium, according to the CDC.
“Baby pools” and smaller, less- frequently attended pools were found to contain the highest presence of these microbial parasites.
Practice safe swimming when visiting public water facilities
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offer the following tips to reduce the risk of becoming ill from swimming in a public swimming pool:
– Do not go swimming if you have diarrhea
– Do not allow your children to go swimming if they have diarrhea
– Make sure your children make a trip to the bathroom before swimming in a public pool
– Do not swallow or drink swimming pool water
– Teach children not to swallow or drink swimming pool water
– Change baby diapers in designated changing areas in restrooms, not at poolside
– Insist on public recreational water facilities that are properly maintained
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently published a fact sheet on operating public swimming pools safely. The May 2012 document, titled “Operating Public Swimming Pools,” states that poorly maintained public, recreational water facilities can spread germs that cause diarrhea, respiratory illnesses, and skin diseases.
Public swimming pool and water park patrons should look for facilities that do the following:
– Operate under a state or local authority
– Keep trained pool operators on staff during peak visitor hours
– Test the water for impurities at least twice a day
– Keep showers, changing areas, and bathrooms clean
– Enforce load limits- no overcrowded pools
– Close the pool for maintenance weekly
– Educate swimmers about recreational water illnesses (RWIs)