The number of people using public and university swimming pools have been rising steadily over the past decade. With an increase of people using pools, also comes an increase in the contraction of Recreational Water Illness (RWI). RWIs include a wide variety of infections, such as gastrointestinal, skin, ear, respiratory, eye, neurologic, and wound infections. The most commonly reported RWI is diarrhea.
Campus Recreation closely monitors the water chemistry of the spas, as well as both the indoor and outdoor pools to ensure that our patrons are safe from RWIs. Chemical levels are checked and adjusted several times a day to maintain the water chemistry at safe and healthy levels. We also have policies in place to help make sure that potentially hazardous germs do not enter the water by asking our patrons to wear proper swimming attire (including swim diapers for small children) and refrain from swimming if they have open sores or a recent occurrence of diarrhea. We also ask that all patrons shower before entering the pool or spa. By following these simple guidelines, you can reduce the risk of infection for yourself and your fellow swimmers.
As an individual, there are several things you can do to help us prevent the spread of RWIs. Please shower before swimming, and do not enter the water if you have had diarrhea. It is not advisable to swallow the water, and we ask that you please limit any spitting to the gutters only. Parents of small children should take children to the bathroom often, thoroughly wash children before entering the water, and limit diaper-changing to the bathrooms and locker rooms only. Small children should wear swim diapers and be checked and changed frequently.
Protection from sun exposure is important all year round, not just during the summer or at the beach. Ultraviolet (UV) rays can reach you on cloudy and hazy days just as well as on bright and sunny days, and they reflect off surfaces such as water, sand, and snow.
The hours between 10am and 4pm are the most hazardous for UV exposure, especially in the Spring and early Summer months.
CDC recommends a few easy options for sun protection:
The sun's UV rays can damage your skin in as little as 15 minutes! Always apply sunscreen before you go outside, even on overcast or cool days.
Loose-fitting long-sleeved shirts and long pants made of tightly woven fabric offer the best protection from UV rays. A dry T-shirt offers more protection than a wet one, and dark-colored shirts offer more protection than light ones. If this type of attire isn't practical for your needs, try to at least wear a T-shirt or a beach cover-up. A typical T-shirt has an SPF less than 15, so be sure to use other types of skin protection as well.
For maximum protection, wear a hat with a brim all the way around that shades your face, ears, and the back of your neck.
For more information on swimming health and safety, please visit the Center for Disease Control.