Healthy and Safe Swimming Communications Toolkit
The information and materials below are meant to help public health professionals promote healthy and safe swimming messages on social media, websites, and other communication channels during Healthy and Safe Swimming Week (HSSW) and throughout the year. These resources are designed to raise awareness about the steps you can take to protect yourself and your family from injury and illness when using your backyard pool.
- Update or create web content related to safe and healthy swimming in backyard pools on your agency’s website and share promotion materials.
- Consider having CDC’s healthy swimming syndicated content on your website without having to maintain it. When CDC updates the syndicated content, your website will be updated as well. Your site’s colors, fonts, navigation, and other unique properties will be unaffected.
- Use social media posts to spread the word about safe and healthy swimming in backyard pools.
- Disseminate healthy swimming messages and materials (for example, in e-mail announcements).
- Provide a press release to media outlets (see Press Release Template). Share information on steps owners of backyard pools can take to prevent:
- Instruct owners of backyard pools to limit use of these pools to household members only if stay-at-home or social distancing orders are in effect.
Operators of Public Aquatic Venues (Pools, Hot Tubs/Spas, and Water Playgrounds)
- Tell operators where they can find information on whether their aquatic venue can be open to the public.
- Share guidance on
- closing public hot tubs/spas for an extended time to help prevent the growth of Legionella and other bacteria,
- reopening public hot tubs/spas after an extended closure to help prevent outbreaks of Legionnaires’ disease, and
- operating public aquatic venues during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Pool Supply Stores
- Recommend that stores display healthy and safe swimming promotion materials in their stores and on their websites.
- Encourage stores to hold virtual pool-chemical safety seminars for owners of backyard pools.
- Share information with providers about COVID-19 transmission and swimming pools, hot tubs/spas, and water playgrounds for patients and their families.
- Encourage providers to share healthy and safe swimming promotion materials with their patients.
- Engage your local chapter of the American Academy of Pediatricsexternal icon or other organizations for healthcare professionals.
- Create fact sheets for community leaders (such as program administrators, boards of health, and elected officials) detailing specifics about your agency’s HSSW efforts.
- It’s Healthy and Safe Swimming Week! Learn how to stay healthy and safe in and around your backyard pool this summer. #HSSW2020 https://go.usa.gov/xvGNqexternal icon
- Don’t let germs in your backyard pool interrupt summer fun. Learn more during Healthy and Safe Swimming Week. #HSSW2020 https://go.usa.gov/xvGNqexternal icon
- Take steps to help avoid injury and illness in and around your backyard pool. Learn more during Healthy and Safe Swimming Week. #HSSW2020 https://go.usa.gov/xvGNqexternal icon
- Spending time with your family in your backyard pool this summer? Stay safe and healthy in and around the water. #HSSW2020 https://go.usa.gov/xvGNqexternal icon
Healthy and Safe Swimming Week Graphics
- Parents: Watch kids closely when they are in or around your backyard pool. Drowning happens quickly and quietly, so avoid distracting activities like being on a smartphone. #HSSW2020 https://go.usa.gov/xv9s2external icon
- Drowning is a leading cause of injury-related death in children less than 15 years old. Learn what you can do to protect children from drowning in your backyard pool. #HSSW2020 https://go.usa.gov/xv9s2external icon
- Help prevent access to your backyard pool when it’s not in use. Install fencing and use locks/alarms for windows and doors. #HSSW2020 https://go.usa.gov/xv9s2external icon
- Help keep swimmers safe in your backyard pool. Know how to recognize and respond to a swimmer in distress and how to perform CPR. #HSSW2020 https://go.usa.gov/xv9s2external icon
Prevent Drowning Graphics
- Using your backyard pool? Pool chemicals protect us from germs but can cause injuries if not handled safely. Check out CDC’s pool chemical safety tips. #HSSW2020 https://go.usa.gov/xmkFdexternal icon
- Using your backyard pool this summer? Remember to protect kids and pets by keeping pool chemicals out of reach. #HSSW2020 https://go.usa.gov/xv9Haexternal icon
- Backyard pool owners: Make sure you know how to safely use pool chemicals to help keep everyone safe and healthy this summer. #HSSW2020 https://go.usa.gov/xv9HYexternal icon
- Backyard pool owners: Order FREE chemical safety posters (one on safe storage, one on safe use) to learn how to help protect yourself, kids, and pets. #HSSW2020 https://go.usa.gov/xv9H8external icon
Pool Chemical Safety Graphic
- Diarrhea and swimming don’t mix. If you are sick with diarrhea, stay out of your backyard pool. It only takes one person having diarrhea in the water to contaminate the whole pool. #HSSW2020 https://go.usa.gov/xv9suexternal icon
- Shower for at least 1 minute before you get into the water to remove dirt and sweat from your body. When chlorine mixes with dirt and sweat, it creates chemicals that make swimmers’ eyes turn red and sting. #HSSW2020 https://go.usa.gov/xmkFKexternal icon
- Pee in the toilet, not in the pool! When people pee (or poop) in the pool, the chlorine mixes with it, using up the chlorine available to kill germs. #HSSW2020 https://go.usa.gov/xvGNqexternal icon
- Take kids on bathroom breaks and check diapers every hour. Change diapers away from the poolside to keep germs from getting in the water. #HSSW2020 https://go.usa.gov/xv9suexternal icon
Recreational Water Illnesses Graphics
In preparation for Healthy and Safe Swimming Week, states or local communities can use content from this press release template to develop their own press release highlighting healthy and safe swimming messages. Use any of the data or tips from the chart to create your press release. This content is intended to be customized to best meet each state or local community’s priorities and needs.
For Release [date]
Contact: Name, title
Healthy and Safe Swimming Week 2020
<City, State> — The week before Memorial Day (May 18–24) is Healthy and Safe Swimming Week. The goal of this year’s awareness week is to maximize the health benefits of swimming in backyard pools by minimizing the risk of illness and injury. Just 2 ½ hours of physical activity every week, including water-based physical activity, can benefit everyone’s health. Each of us plays a role in preventing illnesses and injuries related to the water we swim, play, relax in, and share—this summer and year-round.
|Why Is This Important?||A Few Simple but Effective Prevention Steps We Can All Take|
Each day, approximately two children less than 15 years old die from drowning. Drowning is the leading cause of injury-related death for children 1–4 years old.
For more info, visit the Unintentional Drowning: Get the Facts website.
|Keep swimmers safe in the water
Prevent access to water when pool is not in use
|Injuries caused by mishandling pool chemicals
Pool chemicals, like chlorine, are needed to protect swimmers’ health. However, mishandling pool chemicals can cause serious injuries. Pool chemical injuries lead to about 4,500 U.S. emergency department visits each year, and over one-third of these preventable injuries are in children or teens.
For more info, visit the Pool Chemical Safety website.
|Backyard pool owners
Take the following steps to prevent pool chemical injuries:
Prevent violent, potentially explosive, reactions:
Order FREE printed and laminated poster on safe storage and poster on safe use at the CDC-INFO On Demand website.
|Illnesses caused by the germs in pools and hot tubs/spas
During 2000–2014, nearly 500 outbreaks were linked to pools, hot tubs/spas, and water playgrounds. Most of the outbreaks were caused by the germs Cryptosporidium (or “Crypto”), Legionella, or Pseudomonas.
These germs can make swimmers sick if they swallow just a mouthful of contaminated water. Although most germs are killed within minutes by chlorine or bromine at the recommended levels, Crypto is a germ that can survive in properly treated water for more than 7 days.
For more info, visit the Healthy Swimming website.
|Backyard pool owners
Check the disinfectant (chlorine or bromine) level and pH at least twice per day (and more often when the pool is in heavy use).
Before getting in:
Once you are in:
Healthy swimming information
The 2019 HSS Week toolkit is available as a single PDF containing a cover letter, community outreach suggestions, list of resources, sample press release, sample op-ed, sample proclamation, and suggested social media messages.
The 2018 HSS Week toolkit is available as a single PDF, as well as a ZIP file containing individual PDFs. Both files contain a cover letter, community outreach suggestions, list of resources, sample press release, sample op-ed, sample proclamation, and suggested social media messages.