Stay Safe This Summer

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

26 May, 2017

LAS VEGAS — Memorial Day weekend serves as the unofficial kickoff to summer, and the Southern Nevada Health District is offering tips for residents and visitors to stay safe and healthy this summer while enjoying all their favorite activities.

Patrol. Protect. Prepare.
Swimming is the perfect way to stay cool and be physically active during the long, hot summer months. Children should always be supervised when they have access to any water source, including bathtubs. The Health District and its community partners are reminding parents and supervising adults to be Water Watchers as they take three key steps to prevent drowning:

    • Patrol: always designate an adult to be a Water Watcher when children are in pools, lakes, or even bathtubs;
    • Protect: install barriers between the home and the pool that includes fences, locks and alarms;
    • Prepare: create a safety plan that includes having a phone nearby, knowing CPR skills, having rescue tools available, and enrolling children in swim classes.

Since January, there have been 14 non-fatal submersion incidents in Clark County among children under the age of 14. It is estimated that 20 percent of hospitalized nonfatal drowning victims suffer severe, permanent neurologic disability. Keep your pool time safe. Learn more about the Water Watcher campaign at GetHealthyClarkCounty.org

Don’t Drink the Water – the Pool Water, that is.
Outbreaks of infections linked to swimming pools and water parks are increasing, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. These illnesses can spread when people swallow pool water that has been contaminated with diarrhea. While a pool that is well maintained with the appropriate chemical levels will kill most germs within a few minutes, the Cryptosporidim parasite (Crypto), is harder to kill. A pool must be closed and “hyperchlorinated” to treat effectively.

Pool inspections play an important role in maintaining appropriate levels of disinfectant and pH to keep pools clean and safe, however, swimmers are also encouraged to follow guidelines to keep germs from spreading and to enjoy the many health benefits swimming offers:

    • Do not swallow pool water.
    • Do not swim if you are ill with diarrhea.
    • Shower with soap before swimming and wash hands after using the restroom or changing diapers.
    • Take children on regular bathroom breaks and/or check diapers often.
    • Change diapers in a restroom or diaper-changing area, not at poolside.
    • Wash children thoroughly (especially their buttocks) with soap and water before they go swimming.

Additional information about recreational water illnesses and prevention is available at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Healthy Swimming website at www.cdc.gov/healthyswimming.

(Don’t) Feel the Burn.
Southern Nevada’s high summer temperatures can be harmful to older people, children, or those with a chronic medical condition. Residents and visitors who may not be used to the high temperatures should use precautions:

    • Plan activities earlier in the morning or later in the evening.
    • Dress in light, loose fitting clothes.
    • Wear a wide-brimmed hat to protect the face and use sunscreen.
    • If unaccustomed to working or exercising in a hot environment, start slowly and gradually increase the pace.
    • Avoid being out in the sun for extended periods of time.
    • When planning extended outdoor activity, bring an adequate supply of water. Drink plenty of water at regular intervals – regardless of activity level.
    • Avoid alcohol or liquids contain high amounts of sugar.
    • Plan well-balanced light meals.
    • Check the local weather forecasts and plan activities accordingly.
    • Check on the status of homebound neighbors and relatives.

Caution: Persons who have epilepsy or heart, kidney, or liver disease; are on fluid-restrictive or low-salt diets; or have a problem with fluid retention should consult a doctor before increasing liquid intake or changing what they eat and drink.

Fight the Bite.
The Health District has already confirmed its first 2017 human case of West Nile virus and advises everyone to be vigilant about mosquito breeding sources, which can be as little as a cup of water. Stagnant water sources are the optimal breeding source for mosquitoes. The following recommendations can help minimize exposure to mosquito breeding sources and bites:

    • Use Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered insect repellants containing DEET, Picaridin, IR3535, Oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE), or 2-undecanone.
    • Wear pants and long-sleeved shirts to reduce mosquito exposure when outdoors.
    • Eliminate areas of standing water around your home, including non-circulating ponds, “green” swimming pools, and accumulated sprinkler runoff, which support mosquito breeding.
    • Make sure doors and windows have tight-fitting screens without tears or holes.
    • If you are outdoors in a mosquito infested area, place mosquito netting over infant carriers.
    • Use mosquito netting when sleeping outdoors or in an unscreened structure.

Additional prevention tips are available on the CDC’s Prevent Mosquito Bites webpage.

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Access information about the Southern Nevada Health District on its website: www.SNHD.info. Follow the Health District on Facebook: www.facebook.com/SouthernNevadaHealthDistrict, YouTube: www.youtube.com/SNHealthDistrict, Twitter: www.twitter.com/SNHDinfo, and Instagram: www.instagram.com/southernnevadahealthdistrict/. The Health District is available in Spanish on Twitter: www.twitter.com/TuSNHD.  Additional information and data can be accessed through the Healthy Southern Nevada website: www.HealthySouthernNevada.org.