Prevention

Although chlorine won't keep Cryptosporidium in check, it does kill other waterborne germs. Homeowners with pools should test the chlorine and pH levels once a day; heated pools and outdoor whirlpool spas may require more frequent testing and higher levels of chlorine, because bacteria and parasites thrive in warm environments. Depending on the number of swimmers, public pools should be tested at least every few hours if not more frequently.

Healthy swimming behaviors are needed to protect everyone from illness, and to help stop germs from getting in the pool in the first place. The following tips can help keep swimmers healthy:

• Anyone with diarrhea should not swim, and this is especially important for children in diapers.

• Swimmers should not swallow pool water, if possible. In fact, swimmers should try to avoid even having water get in the mouth.

• Everyone should wash hands with soap and water after using the toilet or changing diapers.

• Caregivers should take children for bathroom breaks often without waiting to hear "I have to go."

• Caregivers should change diapers in a bathroom and not at poolside, because germs can spread to surfaces and objects in and around the pool.

• Swim diapers and swim pants are unlikely to prevent diarrhea from leaking into the pool. Even though diapers or swim pants may hold in some feces, they are not leak proof and can still contaminate the pool water. Therefore, it is rec

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