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Mayo Clinic Q and A: Swimming safety tips

DEAR MAYO CLINIC: My household lives in a group with a number of public swimming pools. My kids love the water and at all times wish to swim, particularly in the summertime. We not too long ago had lunch at one of many swimming pools. My youngest baby complained of a stomachache, after which she vomited and had diarrhea after we received residence from the pool. Rising up, my mother at all times made me wait no less than half-hour after I ate to swim. Did consuming lunch earlier than swimming trigger her signs, or might she have gotten sick from the water? How can I maintain my household protected whereas swimming?

ANSWER: Swimming at a pool is a enjoyable technique to burn some vitality and funky off on a sizzling summer time day. Whereas a pool supplies nice social and leisure leisure, it’s good to be conscious of some issues when visiting a pool to keep up optimum well being and wellness.

Most significantly, earlier than you ship your kids to the pool, be sure they know the best way to swim and at all times will probably be supervised by a accountable grownup. Drowning stays a number one explanation for unintentional loss of life for folks of all ages, particularly kids below 14, based on the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention. Greater than 3,900 folks within the U.S. die yearly from drowning. That is about 11 folks per day.

Ready to swim for 30 to 60 minutes after consuming has been recommendation many mother and father have given their kids for generations. Initially, it was thought that after you eat, blood could also be diverted away out of your legs and arms to your intestine to be able to digest your meals simply. Thus, the recommendation was to attend, because you would possibly get drained or fatigued and be extra prone to drown.

It is now identified this recommendation is with out scientific foundation. Whereas it might not be probably the most comfy factor to go for a swim with a full stomach, it is not harmful to routinely take pleasure in this exercise.

The place group swimming swimming pools can grow to be a well being drawback is that if they grow to be contaminated with Cryptosporidium parasites. These microscopic parasites reside within the intestines of people or animals and are shed via stool. Signs of Cryptosporidium infections embrace watery diarrhea, dehydration, lack of urge for food, weight reduction, abdomen cramps or ache, fever, or nausea.

Cryptosporidium infections are extremely contagious and are one of many extra widespread causes of infectious diarrhea in people. However you possibly can defend your self and your loved ones from turning into sick.

Inquire along with your group pool in regards to the cleansing schedule, any testing that’s carried out on the water, and whether or not instances of Cryptosporidium or different infections have been reported from individuals who have not too long ago used the pool. Along with the chance of Cryptosporidium an infection, you’d wish to keep away from swimming in a pool that’s not often cleaned and the water shouldn’t be often handled.

Contemplate these different suggestions for avoiding infections out of your group swimming pool:

  • Don’t swim or let your youngsters swim if they’re sick and have diarrhea. If they’ve been identified with Crytosporidium, they need to wait two weeks after the diarrhea has stopped earlier than returning to the pool. The parasite has been detected in stool as much as two weeks after diarrhea has gotten higher.
  • Rinse off within the bathe earlier than and after getting within the pool to take away germs in your physique.
  • Remind your baby to keep away from swallowing water from the swimming pool.
  • For youthful kids particularly, take frequent rest room breaks and examine diapers in a diaper-changing space not subsequent to the pool.
  • Wash your arms properly with cleaning soap and water after utilizing the lavatory and altering diapers. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers are usually not efficient towards Cryptosporidium.

In most wholesome folks, the signs of this an infection will resolve inside a few weeks with none therapy. A very powerful factor is to drink loads of fluids and keep well-hydrated. Nevertheless, the an infection will be extra extreme and extended in folks with weakened immune programs or underlying digestive system points, corresponding to inflammatory bowel illness. Folks with these circumstances ought to speak to their well being care skilled to search out out whether or not they must be examined or handled for Cryptosporidium or different infectious causes of diarrhea. Dr. Nipunie Rajapakse, Pediatric and Adolescent Medication, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota

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