a diverse group of parents and children posing at a concrete island in the middle of a swimming pool

Swimming and other water-related activities are excellent ways to get the physical activity and health benefits needed for a healthy life. Americans swim hundreds of millions of times in pools, oceans, lakes, rivers, and hot tubs/spas each year, and most people have a safe and healthy time enjoying the water. However, it is important to be aware of ways to prevent illness, sunburn, and drowning that can occur.

This site provides information for the public about healthy swimming in public venues so that everyone can maximize the health benefits of swimming while minimizing the risk of illness and injury. Topics include:

If you are traveling outside of the United States with plans to swim in public pools, oceans, lakes, or rivers, please visit CDC’s Traveler’s Health page for health recommendations and advice.

Page last reviewed: August 10, 2021