Stay summer safe! | Environment
Bartow, Florida-- The Polk County Health Department (PCHD) sent out a reminder to all residents and visitors to take reasonable precautions during summer activities.
As people enjoy outdoor activities in the sunshine state's warm weather, PCHD says it is important to take simple steps to prevent avoidable illness and injury.
They encourage you to follow these summer saftey tips:
- Wear nose clips or hold your nose when swimming, jumping, or diving in any fresh water - Closed nostrils reduce your risk of infection by the amoeba, Naegleria fowleri, which causes a rare but life-threatening condition. This naturally occurring amoeba thrives in warm freshwater during periods of high water temperature and low water volume.
- Do not swim or stir up sediment in warm standing water, such as ponds, storm water retention areas, or in areas posted "No Swimming" - Bacteria and other harmful organisms thrive in warm, standing water, or improperly chlorinated swimming pools. Seek prompt medical attention if you become ill after swimming in freshwater.
- Avoiding areas with obvious algal blooms - Contact with algal blooms may cause skin rash, runny nose, and burning eyes.
- Avoid feeding or contact with wildlife - Natural areas are home to many animals, including snakes, raccoons, otters and alligators. Keep your distance.
- Protect others - Please don't litter. Discarded glass and trash can cause injury to bathers and wildlife. Dispose of trash properly.
- Be water safe - Do not go into the water unless you know how to swim. Never swim if you are impaired, and never enter the water during or when expecting a storm. Always swim with a partner, and supervise children constantly.
- Store food properly - Keep cold foods cold and hot foods hot. Place coolers away from directly sunlight. Refrigerate leftovers right away.
- Use proper hygiene - Wash hands frequently, especially when handling food or after bathroom use. Use hand sanitizer if water is not available.