ANN ARBOR (WWJ) – Water safety means more than just wearing a life jacket.
You’ve probably noticed the signs at swimming pools and water parks: You must shower before going into the water. But, according to a new University of Michigan study, many parents don’t enforce that rule and infections are more common than drowning each year.
The University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health found that 64 percent of families feel it’s important for kids not to swallow the water at a park or pool. But only 26 per cent of parents think it’s important for kids to shower before getting into the water.
“Parents seem to understand the risk of contaminated water for their kids but few have their kids take the necessary preventive steps to keep everyone healthy,” said Matthew Davis, M.D., director of the poll and associate professor in the Child Health Evaluation and Research Unit at the U-M Medical School.
“The ‘shower before entering’ rule posted at water parks nationwide isn’t meant to be optional. Showering is a simple and effective way to reduce the spread of germs, including some germs like Cryptosporidium that are not killed with conventional levels of chlorine. When parents let their kids play at a water park without showering, they may be raising the risk of infection for everyone,” he said.
Doctors say more than 10,000 Americans get sick with infections from the water each year, and one of the best ways to reduce the risk of infection is to make sure parents and kids shower thoroughly with soap and water before playing at water parks.
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