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County of Los Angeles
Department of Public Health
Environmental Health
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Swimming Pool Information

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Tips for Healthful Swimming

Swimming is one of the most popular recreational activities in the country. Millions of people swim safely each year. However, disease transmission can occur while swimming.  Here are some helpful tips to reduce your chances and other pool users' chances of becoming ill.

DO NOT enter the water if you or your child has diarrhea or a communicable disease. People can spread germs in the water even without having an "accident."

DO NOT swallow the water. Swimming is communal bathing. When you are in the water you are bathing with everyone else in the pool and chlorine does not kill all germs.

DO NOT count on swim diapers or pants to keep fecal matter from leaking into the water. These products are not leak proof.

DO wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water after a bowel movement or changing diapers. Germs on hands end up everywhere, including in the water.

DO take your child to the toilet for bathroom breaks often. Waiting to hear "I have to go" may mean it's too late.

DO change diapers in a bathroom, not near the pool. Germs can contaminate surfaces and objects around the water.

DO wash your child thoroughly, especially his or her bottom with soap and water before swimming. Everyone has invisible amounts of fecal matter on his or her bottom that ends up in the water.

DO notify the lifeguard if you see fecal matter in the water or if you see persons changing diapers at poolside.

DO keep an eye on your child at all times. Remember, children can drown in silence.

For more information check the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) website at

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Director of Environmental Health
Angelo J. Bellomo
Director's Biography
Los Angeles County Seal: Enriching lives through effective and caring services