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Florida Department of Health in Duval Co. encourages healthy and safe swimming

Tuesday, July 12, 2016   (0 Comments)
Posted by: DCMS
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Jacksonville, FL—The Florida Department of Health in Duval County reminds residents and visitors to safely enjoy their favorite summer activities, especially swimming. The department encourages the public to follow safe and healthy swim practices to prevent injury and drowning.

“With just a few simple precautions we can keep family and friends safe while enjoying water-related activities," said Kelli Wells, MD, Director of the Florida Department of Health in Duval County. "By being watchful together, we can keep the fun in water activities for everyone."

The department works to keep residents and visitors safe during the summer by conducting routine inspections of public pools to ensure they meet sanitation and safety standards and making the reports available to the public. To access the latest inspection reports for public pools and water playgrounds near you, click here. Additionally, the Florida Healthy Beaches program samples water weekly from beaches along the coast and reports water quality. Residents and visitors are also reminded to avoid contact with visible algae in the water.

Organisms such as Cryptosporidium (or Crypto), the leading cause of disease outbreaks linked to pools, can survive in an adequately chlorinated pool for 7–10 days. In 2015, there were 32 cases of Crypto reported in Duval County.  This serves as a reminder that the water we share and swim in is not germ free. We can all do our part to minimize the risk of illness while maximizing enjoyment and the health benefits of swimming.

Follow these simple steps for a safe and healthy swim experience:

  • Shower with soap before you get in the water
  • Don't swallow the water you swim in
  • Stay out of the water if you have diarrhea
  • Parents should take children on bathroom breaks every 60 minutes
  • Wash your hands after visiting the bathroom or changing diapers
  • Visit your local hardware or pool-supply store and purchase pool test strips to check the chlorine and pH levels before getting into the water.

Along with learning about the water quality of pools and beaches, families can learn healthy and safe swim practices to prevent injury or drowning. By incorporating layers of protection such as supervision, barriers and emergency preparedness, pool-goers can swim safely and securely. For more information and to download a Water Watcher tag, visit

About the Florida Department of Health

The department, nationally accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board, works to protect, promote and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county and community efforts.

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Charles Griggs