Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Healthy Swimming

Summer time means fun in the sun, and plenty of fun and games in the water - but did you know that germs could contaminate swimming water? Recreational water illnesses (RWIs) are spread by swimming in contaminated recreational waters such as: pools, water parks, lakes, and the ocean. Germs causing RWIs can be killed by chlorine, but it doesn't work right away. It takes time to kill germs, and some are resistant to chlorine and can live in pools for days. Here are some tips on how to protect yourself and your family from RWIs.

Swimmer's Ear

"Swimmer's Ear" is an infection of the ear and/or outer ear canal, which can cause the ear to itch or become red and inflamed. More common in children and young adults, movement or touching the ear can be extremely painful. Reduce your risk of getting Swimmer's Ear:

  • Dry your ears after swimming.
  • Check with the pool staff about the chlorine and pH-testing program at the pool. Those with good control are unlikely to spread Swimmer's Ear.
  • Avoid swimming in locations that may have been closed because of pollution.
  • Avoid putting objects (e.g. fingers, cotton swabs) in your ear that may scratch the ear canal and provide a site for infection.

Swimmer's Ear can be treated with antibiotic eardrops - contact your doctor if you think you might have Swimmer's Ear.

Swimmer's Itch

"Swimmer's Itch" is a skin rash caused by an allergic reaction to infection caused by certain parasites found in contaminated salt or fresh water. You may experience tingling, burning, or itching of the skin. Small reddish pimples may later occur and could develop into blisters. Swimmer's itch cannot be spread from person-to-person, and most cases do not require medical attention. If you have a rash - try not to scratch as this may cause the rash to become infected. You may try the following for relief:

  • Cool compresses
  • Anti-itch lotion; calamine lotion
  • Corticosteroid cream
  • Apply a baking soda paste to the rash

Children are more likely to be affected because they swim, wade, and play in the shallow water (where the parasites are most often found) more than adults, and they do not towel dry themselves when leaving the water. To reduce the risk of swimmer's itch:

  • Avoid swimming in areas where swimmer's itch is a known problem.
  • Do not attract birds by feeding them in areas where people are swimming.
  • Avoid swimming near or wading in marshy areas where snails are commonly found.
  • Towel dry or shower immediately after leaving the water.


If you swim in a pool of salt water or sea salt also acts as a powerful anti-bacterial, especially since the chemicals in a salt chlorine in swimming pool.The help heal inflammation and prevent future outbreaks.

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I really found thins loaded of information, especially regarding Swimmer's Itch. You are absolutely right about Children as they are not so aware of these kinda thing. So parents should be more careful about their kids especially when they're using or sharing anything not just dedicated for them, like swimming pool.

I found another interesting blog of kids health that you might be interested too.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts buddy.

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