Health Officials Urge Water Safety

May 27, 2014

With summer weather arriving in the Northwoods, health officials are reminding the community to practice healthy swim habits. 

Health officials say pools can be a source of germs and other hazards.
Credit Rufino Uribe via

This week is designated Recreational Water Illness and Injury Prevention Week. 

The Oneida County Health Department says using life jackets and knowing CPR can prevent drowning and other injuries in the water. 

Melissa Nieman, Aquatics Director at the YMCA of the Northwoods, says she hears about lots of young kids going to the lake without parental supervision.  But she encourages parents to keep a close eye on their kids in the water.    

“Water watching, if you’re with your children or families at the beach, that there’s always a designated water watcher – that you never take your eyes off a child.  Even if you think they know how to swim, you should always have one person that’s the designated water watcher.” 

Health officials say swimming can also result in illness. Nieman says good hygiene practices will help prevent the spread of germs in pools. 

“We always encourage people to shower with soap and water prior to getting into the hot tub or the swimming pool.  Any water really –to help the spread of germs.  And children especially, children need to be taught from a young age how to shower before getting into a swimming pool.” 

She also says pool owners should brush up on their knowledge of the chemicals they use by becoming a certified pool operator.