If you're heading for a dip with your children this month during the heatwave, you might want to read this first...
Taking a dip in cold water while it’s too hot to handle is super satisfying, especially for kids who can’t enough of playing in the water.
But while a trip to your local swimming spot might be very tempting while the temperature reach high twenties – and even 30 degrees – a new report has revealed that July is actually the worst month for parasites that can cause water-related illnesses.
The report was published by American organisation Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) based on public health records from 35 states.
Researchers found that the majority of outbreaks of water-related illnesses – ‘outbreaks from untreated recreational water can be caused by pathogens, toxins, or chemicals in fresh water (e.g., lakes, rivers) or marine water (e.g., ocean)’ – happened between June and August, and nearly 60 per cent happened in July.
The main cause of all these water-related illnesses seem to be poop particles, which can become in contact with you or your children when you swim in untreated waters, be it from sewage or if someone has pooped in the water.
And it’s not just human fecal matter – the parasites also come from the bird toxins and algae blooms that could be present in rivers.
While this report is mainly aimed at untreated waters and suggests that ‘well-operated, treated recreational water venues’ – like most public swimming pools – are safe bets for swimmers, a previous CDC report had warned that your local lido could also be hiding some dangers.
According to the document, almost a third of disease outbreaks between 2000 and 2014 could be traced back to hotel pools, hot tubs and spas.
If you want to keep yourself and your kids safe, experts warn you should avoid waters where it’s really shallow; right after a heavy rain; if there’s overcrowding in the swimming space; and if the water doesn’t circulate well.