Monday, June 05, 2017

Be mindful of water quality when kids swim

Lakes, rivers, streams, and the ocean are not the wholesome playgrounds of yesteryear.

To pretend all is perfect can endanger your kids.

Even the backyard wading pool, says a professor of infectious diseases at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in NC, can be contaminated. After all, it is non-moving, warm, shallow water and kids in diapers may have been in it.

Some tips:

--If your child has had any gastrointestinal disease--diarrhea, for instance--keep him or her away from swimming pools and all water.

--Don't swallow water at water parks.

--Freshwater lakes and streams can harbor leptospirosis, a bacterium from the urine of mammals that come to drink from the water. So don't awallow lake water either. Maybe nose plugs?

--Even if a stream looks crystal clear, don't drink from it.  Remember, wild animals have done the same and may have stayed to do their business.

--You super want to avoid Naegleria, a rare, deadly, brain-eating amoeba that is almost impossible to treat.  NEVER jump feetfirst into warm, stagnant water--the water will go up your nose, and if the amoeba is present, it will get forced into your brain. Fun over for sure.

--Salt water can be less of a problem, but you should not go in the ocean with a wound.

And stay away from jelly fish--even the dead ones on the beach. Ouch!

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