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Recreational Water Illness and Injury (RWII) Prevention Week

two girls playing in the shallow end of a swimming pool

Visit the Buttons & Badges page to download RWII Prevention Week buttons.

The week before Memorial Day has been designated National Recreational Water Illness and Injury (RWII) Prevention Week. RWII Prevention Week 2014 will take place May 19–25, 2014, marking the 10th anniversary of this observance.

Each year, RWII Prevention Week focuses on simple steps swimmers and pool operators can take to help ensure a healthy and safe swimming experience for everyone.

The theme for RWII Prevention Week 2014 is Healthy and Safe Swimming: We’re in it Together. It focuses on the role of swimmers, aquatics and beach staff, residential pool owners, and public health officials in preventing drowning, pool chemical injuries, and outbreaks of illnesses. It highlights swimmer hygiene and the need for swimmers to take an active role in helping to protect themselves and prevent the spread of germs. These messages are reinforced by health promotion materials to educate the public on how to prevent recreational water illnesses (RWIs).

For information about previous RWII Prevention Weeks, visit the Dates of Celebration and Additional Resources page.

What are RWIs?

Recreational water illnesses (RWIs) are caused by germs spread by swallowing, breathing in mists or aerosols of, or having contact with contaminated water in swimming pools, hot tubs, water parks, water play areas, interactive fountains, lakes, rivers, or oceans. RWIs can also be caused by chemicals in the water or chemicals that evaporate from the water and cause indoor air quality problems. Diarrhea is the most common RWI, and it is often caused by germs like Crypto (short for Cryptosporidium), Giardia, norovirus, Shigella, and E. coli O157:H7. Other common RWIs include skin, ear, respiratory, eye, neurologic, and wound infections. Children, pregnant women, and people with weakened immune systems are most at risk for RWIs. More information about RWIs can be found on the Basics of RWIs page.


 
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