The week before Memorial Day (May 18-24, 2009) has been designated as National Recreational Water Illness Prevention Week. The goal of this observance is to raise awareness about healthy swimming behaviors, including ways to prevent recreational water illnesses (RWIs) and injuries. RWIs are illnesses spread by swallowing, breathing in vapors of, or having contact with contaminated water in swimming pools, water parks, spas, interactive fountains, lakes, rivers, or oceans. Injuries at aquatics facilities can occur in or out of the water.
This year’s RWI Prevention Week theme: pool chemical injuries
The theme for this year’s RWI Prevention Week focuses on injuries associated with pool chemicals. Pool chemicals make the water where we swim safer by protecting us from germs; however, these same chemicals can also cause injuries if they are not properly handled. This type of preventable injury leads to thousands of emergency room visits each year. Public pool operators can protect themselves and swimmers by taking these key steps:
- ALWAYS secure pool chemicals: Keep children and animals away.
- ALWAYS read product name and manufacturer’s directions before each use.
- ALWAYS use appropriate protective gear, such as safety glasses and gloves, when handling pool chemicals.
- NEVER mix chlorine products with each other, acid, or other substances.
To access a complete set of prevention recommendations, visit http://www.nspf.org
We encourage pool operators to adopt and promote this observance!
Additional online education on chemical safety can be found at http://www.nspf.org/Occupational.html
Courses are offered on Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), chlorine, chemical, and flammable liquid safety.
Additional information about Recreational Water Illness Prevention Week 2009 can be found at www.cdc.gov/healthyswimming