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HHS HealthBeat (June 10, 2013)

Kids in the pool

HHS HealthBeat: A group of children swimming in a pool.

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Swim Safely

From the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, I’m Ira Dreyfuss with HHS HealthBeat.

People are not the only creatures in a swimming pool. Swimmers might introduce germs into the water, too. Chlorine and other disinfectants kill most germs within minutes, not instantly. If you swallow pool water, you risk swallowing germs that can cause waterborne diseases.

That’s especially a problem for children. At the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Michele Hlavsa:

“Studies show that young children tend to drink more water while swimming than adults. Because they drink more water, they’re more likely to get sick.”

Hlavsa advises parents to help protect kids by encouraging them to keep water out of their mouths. They can help to protect other kids by giving their kids a pre-swim wash, not letting them swim with diarrhea, and taking them on bathroom breaks every 60 minutes or checking diapers every 30 to 60 minutes.

Learn more at

HHS HealthBeat is a production of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. I’m Ira Dreyfuss.

Last revised: June 10, 2013