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Environmental public health

Healthy swimming – it starts before you hop in the pool

Warmer weather is here, which is a great time to swim and have fun in the water. While swimming is fun and a great way to stay fit and active, sometimes germs can contaminate the pool water, which can make you and your family sick.  

An increase in crypto infection associated with aquatic facilities 

An increase in cryptosporidium infection (crypto) in the west of Melbourne has been identified that is associated with swimming in aquatic facilities. Crypto is a type of gastroenteritis (gastro) caused by the parasite Cryptosporidium which can cause a serious and prolonged illness for some people. If you have recently swum in an aquatic facility and have gastro, consider seeing your GP for a test, and avoid swimming until you have been well for 14 days. For more information on crypto, visit Gastroenteritis – cryptosporidiosis – Better Health Channel  

How to stay healthy when swimming

It is important to remember that when you’re swimming, you share the pool with others and that healthy swimming practices are needed to keep the water clean and stop the spread of germs. 

  1. Do not swim if you have had diarrhoea in the past 14 days
  2. Shower and wash with soap, especially your bottom, before swimming
  3. Wash your hands with soap after going to the toilet or changing a nappy
  4. Change nappies in nappy change areas only
  5. Avoid swallowing pool water.
  • Always keep an eye on your children 
  • Take children on toilet breaks every hour and check nappies every 30-60 minutes 
  • Do not change nappies by the poolside 
  • Give non-toilet trained children tight-fitting waterproof nappies 
  • Report any faecal accidents to swimming pool staff. 

To enjoy a summer filled with healthy swimming while preventing you and your family getting sick, make sure you follow the five healthy swimming steps.

For more information on healthy swimming, visit Healthy swimming – Better Health Channel