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One danger when swimming is that the water can be contaminated with germs, such as:

• Diarrhea – This is caused by swallowing water contaminated with parasites, viruses, and bacteria, including Giardia, Salmonella, Norovirus, or even E. coli. These germs can enter the water when someone with an infection defecates in the water or the water is contaminated with raw sewage.

• Pink eye – This category of viruses, known as adenoviruses, can cause pink eye, colds, sore throats, croup, and diarrhea.

• Molluscum contagiosum – This is a rash that is similar to a wart. Although it may not be spread in swimming pool water, it can be spread by sharing towels and toys with a child who has molluscum.

• Hepatitis A – This is a viral infection that affects the liver, causing jaundice, fatigue, abdominal pain, fever, and nausea. Although often associated with contaminated food, it’s also possible to contract it from contaminated water.

• Naegleria – A rare, albeit very serious and often fatal infection that is caused by the Naegleria fowleri amoeba, which is sometimes found in warm freshwater lakes and ponds.

· Chlorine and Water Germs

Preventing Recreational Water Illnesses

In addition to teaching a child not to swallow water when swimming, you can help keep your child and everyone else healthy in the water if you:

• Keep your child or grandchild out of the water if they have pink eye, diarrhea, hepatitis A, or other contagious diseases.

• Don’t let children who have open wounds into the water because it could lead to an infection.

• Don’t share towels.

• Encourage everyone to take a shower before going swimming.

• Take younger children to the bathroom frequently so that they are less likely to have an accident in the water.

• Don’t change diapers by the pool – take the child to the bathroom, wash their bottom, and then wash your hands.

• Cover any molluscum lesions with a watertight bandage.

Author: TxNaturalPediatrics

By training, I am a American Board Certified Pediatrician. But in my younger years I grew up with natural alternatives. As a mom I have tried to incorporate both for my kids and it has worked wonders. And finally, as I am studying natural & alternative medicines, I realize the beauty and wisdom of living closer to earth. Hence in my practice I integrate both...for acute ailments I follow American Academy of Pediatrics recommendation but for simple and/or chronic conditions I prefer natural alternatives. In western training we were raised to think that "health is the absence of symptoms and problems". But eastern sensibilities has educated me that "Health is state that allows one to use the full capabilities of their body, mind and intellect. Therefore, healthy living is a balanced state of well being: physically, mentally, socially and spiritually." This implies that healing is not a "one-pill-fits-all", but a personalized experience.

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