County of Los Angeles
Department of Public Health
5050 Commerce Drive
Baldwin Park, CA 91706
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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
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
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
DO notify the lifeguard
if you see fecal matter in the water or if
you see persons changing diapers at
keep an eye on your child at all times.
Remember, children can drown in silence.
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Public Health has made reasonable efforts to provide accurate translation. However, no computerized translation is perfect and is not intended to replace traditional translation methods. If questions arise concerning the accuracy of the information, please refer to the English edition of the website, which is the official version.