Recreational Water Illness and Injury Prevention Week --- May 23--29, 2011
May 23-29, 2011, marks the seventh annual Recreational Water Illness and Injury Prevention Week. This observance highlights simple steps swimmers and pool operators can take to reduce health and safety risks at pools, water parks, and other recreational water venues.
Recreational water illness can result from ingesting, inhaling aerosols of, or having contact with contaminated water in swimming pools, hot tubs, water parks, water play areas, interactive fountains, lakes, rivers, or oceans. These illnesses also can be caused by chemicals in the water or chemicals that evaporate from the water.
This year's observance focuses on preventing swimmer's ear (acute otitis externa), a common and painful infection of the outer ear canal that results in 2.4 million health-care visits and nearly half a billion dollars in health-care costs every year (1). Simple steps, such as keeping ears as dry as possible, can help prevent this illness. More information on preventing swimmer's ear is available at http://www.cdc.gov/healthywater/swimming/rwi/illnesses/swimmers-ear-prevention-guidelines.html.
Injuries and drowning also can occur in and around the water. Drowning is the second leading cause of unintentional injury death among children aged ≤14 years (2). Additional information on drowning prevention is available at http://www.cdc.gov/safechild/drowning/index.html.
- CDC. Estimated burden of acute otitis externa---United States, 2003--2007. MMWR 2011;60:605--9.
- CDC. Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System (WISQARS). Available at http://www.cdc.gov/injury/wisqars. Accessed April 29, 2011.
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