Skip directly to search Skip directly to A to Z list Skip directly to site content
CDC Home

Persons using assistive technology might not be able to fully access information in this file. For assistance, please send e-mail to: Type 508 Accommodation and the title of the report in the subject line of e-mail.

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

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


  1. CDC. Estimated burden of acute otitis externa---United States, 2003--2007. MMWR 2011;60:605--9.
  2. CDC. Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System (WISQARS). Available at Accessed April 29, 2011.

Use of trade names and commercial sources is for identification only and does not imply endorsement by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

References to non-CDC sites on the Internet are provided as a service to MMWR readers and do not constitute or imply endorsement of these organizations or their programs by CDC or the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. CDC is not responsible for the content of pages found at these sites. URL addresses listed in MMWR were current as of the date of publication.

All MMWR HTML versions of articles are electronic conversions from typeset documents. This conversion might result in character translation or format errors in the HTML version. Users are referred to the electronic PDF version ( and/or the original MMWR paper copy for printable versions of official text, figures, and tables. An original paper copy of this issue can be obtained from the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO), Washington, DC 20402-9371; telephone: (202) 512-1800. Contact GPO for current prices.

**Questions or messages regarding errors in formatting should be addressed to The U.S. Government's Official Web PortalDepartment of Health and Human Services
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention   1600 Clifton Road Atlanta, GA 30329-4027, USA
800-CDC-INFO (800-232-4636) TTY: (888) 232-6348 - Contact CDC–INFO
A-Z Index
  1. A
  2. B
  3. C
  4. D
  5. E
  6. F
  7. G
  8. H
  9. I
  10. J
  11. K
  12. L
  13. M
  14. N
  15. O
  16. P
  17. Q
  18. R
  19. S
  20. T
  21. U
  22. V
  23. W
  24. X
  25. Y
  26. Z
  27. #