Keep the poop out of the water!

Keeping poop out of the pool isn’t the only way to prevent recreational water illnesses this summer. Keeping it out of lakes, rivers and other bodies of water is important too.

According to a report last week from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, children are prime targets for norovirus and other germs that can live in lakes and swimming pools because they are more likely to get water in their mouths. This report came after a norovirus outbreak that sickened 70 people last summer was linked to a lake near Portland, Ore. Experts believe the outbreak began after a swimmer infected with norovirus had diarrhea or vomited in the water and other swimmers swallowed the contaminated water.

As pools across Johnson County open this weekend, Lougene Marsh, director of the Johnson County Department of Health and Environment, offers the following tips to keep germs out of the water and keep the places we swim open all summer:

·         Stay out of the water if you have diarrhea.

·         Shower before you get in the water.

·         Don’t pee or poop in the water.

·         Don’t swallow the water.

Marsh also recommends frequent bathroom breaks for children and checking and changing diapers in a bathroom or diaper-changing area – not poolside – to keep germs away from the pool.

For more healthy and safe swimming tips, visit

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