Thursday, May 26, 2011

Fecal Matters: The best protection is prevention!

BEACH Program Update

It’s Recreational Water Illness and Injury Prevention Week and that means it’s time to take a look at what you’re doing to protect yourself at the beach. Recreational water illnesses and injuries can happen to anyone; you can protect yourself by being informed and taking steps to stay safe.

Make sure your beach is safe for swimming before you go. The BEACH Program monitors water quality all summer and tells the public when bacteria levels raise the risk of illness. Surf the web before you surf the beach, pay attention to posted signs, and don’t let the water make you sick!

Germs love the beach too!

From diarrhea to swimmer’s itch, recreational water illnesses can affect all swimmers at a pool, lake, or ocean beach. But it’s easy to protect yourself and prevent illnesses.
  • Be informed! Check the status of your beach before you go.
  • Cover up cuts and scrapes to keep bacteria out.
  • Don’t swallow water when you’re swimming and splashing around.
  • If you’re sick, stay out of the water to make sure you don’t make others sick, too!

If you do get sick after swimming, see your doctor. Some of the germs in water that cause illnesses can be very serious so it’s important to get checked out.

It’s also important to protect yourself with sunscreen and be aware of potential hazards at the beach. Stay safe and you’ll be able to enjoy many more days of sun, sand, and waves.

Want more information?

Check out the CDC’s Healthy Swimming and Recreational Water website for more information and tips on safe, healthy swimming. Remember to check the status of your local beach and become a fan of the BEACH Program on Facebook.

Jessica Bennett is the Acting BEACH Program Manager and can be reached at

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