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Environmental Health - Information - Swimming Safety


Swimming precautions - click on each link below for more information

In lakes

  • Avoid swimming underwater or stirring up muck on the bottom.
  • Don't swim when the water temperature gets above 82 degrees.
  • Stay away from weeds.

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In ponds

Q: Is it safe to swim in the pond by my house?

A: The lakes and ponds are not tested for water quality. Therefore, swimming in these areas may be a health hazard. There are approved bathing areas in Volusia County that undergo routine sampling. The ocean is also routinely sampled for water quality.

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In the pool

  • Ask to see pool records. All public pools should have daily records on treatment and cleaning.
  • Take a shower before you swim in a pool. Body fluids, skin flakes and perfumes can overload pool filters and chemicals.
  • Teach children not to swallow pool water.
  • Change kiddie pools daily. Empty at night and leave to dry.
  • Don't swim if the water is cloudy, or you can't see the drain.

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Wherever you swim

  • Keep your mouth closed. Try not to swallow water and avoid getting water in your mouth.
  • Always wash your hands with soap and water after using the restroom or changing diapers.
  • Don't swim if you have diarrhea, or for two weeks after having an intestinal illness.
  • Children, the elderly and people with weakened immune systems are more likely to be affected by swimming in polluted water.
  • Daytona Beach pediatrician Dr. John White recommends treating your ears after every swim, with a solution of one part white vinegar and two parts rubbing alcohol.
  • Be especially alert if you are swimming and water "goes down the wrong way" and gets into your respiratory system.
  • Anytime anyone gets an unexplained fever after swimming, it should be checked out by a physician, particularly if there is chest pain. Be sure to tell the doctor you've been swimming, said Dr. Richard Duma, director of infectious disease at Halifax Medical Center. "It's crucial to let them know (the patient) had swimming exposure because it can be a cardinal clue."

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With children

  • Don't let children swim in regular diapers. Use "swimming diapers" or plastic pants.
  • Take children on bathroom breaks often.
  • Do not change diapers at poolside. Germs can spread.
  • Bathe children before allowing them to swim, paying particular attention to the rear end.

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Page last updated: 07/9/13