Water safety: What lurks in the water?

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Many individuals greatly favor the excitement and fun while swimming in open waters. On the other hand, swimming in the sea, lakes, ponds, streams or rivers can be risky unless water safety precautions are taken into consideration.

Jellyfish stings

It is important to note that jellyfish are responsible for most cases of stings in the sea. The stings from most types are not dangerous, but can lead to an intense, stinging pain that can occur along with itchiness and a rash.

As a water safety precaution, it is best to avoid swimming in areas infested by jellyfish. The ideal treatment is to eliminate any lingering tentacles using tweezers or a clean stick. Apply an ice pack on the sting site to reduce the soreness and inflammation.

Sewage in seawater

Swimming in seawater contaminated with sewage can cause various conditions ranging from digestive, respiratory as well as infections in the throat, nose and ears. It is vital to check the status of swimming spots before taking a plunge.

Getting cold

Outdoor swimming in cold water can drain the body heat, thus the legs and arms become weaker and the individual might be in danger if he/she could not get out. For those who are not used to swimming in cold water, it is recommended to use a wetsuit.

There are water safety precautions that must be observed while swimming. It is vital not to jump into cold water, but steadily wade in. If possible, only swim close to the shore and take precaution when swimming in reservoirs that are deeper and colder than rivers and lakes. In addition, bring warm clothes to wear after swimming even during summer if the individual feels colder when getting out.

Water safety

An individual might end up with diarrhea and vomiting after swimming in water contaminated by lakes, rivers and streams.

Always bear in mind that shivering and chattering of the teeth are the initial symptoms of hypothermia. If this is evident, the individual should get out of the water and warm up.

Stomach ache from sewage-contaminated water

An individual might end up with diarrhea and vomiting after swimming in water contaminated by lakes, rivers and streams. The main culprits include Cryptosporidium and E. coli that can spread by swallowing water from streams, lakes and rivers that contain sewage or any kind of animal or bird droppings.

The best way to reduce the risk for stomach ache is to avoid drinking from streams even if they appear clean. Remember that cows or sheep might have urinated in them. Always wash hands after wading in streams or rivers as well as avoid ingesting water while swimming.

Swimmer’s itch

Swimmer’s itch is a rash with severe itchiness due to some parasites that thrive in snails that thrives in freshwater. The snails thrive on reeds around stagnant ponds and marshy lakes. During warm, sunny days, the parasites are released into the water and burrow into the skin of those who swim.

Even though uncomfortable, the itchiness does not last longer than a couple of days. The rash will not spread to others and does not require treatment. The best way to reduce the risk is to avoid swimming in marshy areas where snails are commonly found and rinse off properly after leaving the water.

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At St Mark James Training we work hard to ensure accurate and useful information on our blog website. However, the information that we post on our website is purely for educational purposes and should not be used as diagnosis or treatment. If you need medical advise please contact a medical professional

  • All stmarkjamestraining.ca content is reviewed by a medical professional and / sourced to ensure as much factual accuracy as possible.

  • We have strict sourcing guidelines and only link to reputable websites, academic research institutions and medical articles.

  • If you feel that any of our content is inaccurate, out-of-date, or otherwise questionable, please contact us through our contact us page.