Tips to keep your family healthy in the water this summer

Barton Springs Pool. (File Image)
Barton Springs Pool. (File Image)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Water activities and summer go hand-in-hand in Central Texas, but do you know how to avoid a recreational water illness?

RWIs happen when people swallow, breathe in mists or come in contact with contaminated water from pools, water parks hot tubs, lakes, oceans and any other type of water used for recreational purposes. Chlorine kills most of the germs that cause RWIs, but according to the Austin/Travis County Health and Human Services Department, chlorine doesn’t work right away and some of these organisms can live in the pool for days.

Here are a few tips to have a fun, and healthy, summer in the water:

  • Don’t swim when you have diarrhea
  • Don’t swallow water
  • Wash your hands after using the toilet or changing diapers
  • Check diapers and let children take bathroom breaks often
  • Change diapers in a bathroom or a diaper-changing area – not poolside.
  • Wash children thoroughly with soap and water before swimming

For more information visit the Center for Disease Control’s website on healthy swimming tips. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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