ADPH observes Healthy and Safe Swimming Week 2023


CONTACT: DeJuana Grant, M.S.P.H., (334) 206-5971 

The Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) is participating in the annual Healthy and Safe Swimming Week, May 22-28, 2023, an initiative of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The goal of this week is to maximize the health benefits of swimming by promoting healthy and safe water activities. Each of us plays a role in preventing illnesses and injuries linked to the water we share and swim in this summer and year-round. This year’s theme is “Got Diarrhea? Don’t Swim!” 

Germs can spread if someone is sick with diarrhea and has an accident in the water. Germs in the water can make people sick if they swallow just a mouthful of contaminated water. Although most germs are killed within minutes by chlorine or bromine at the recommended levels, the germ Cryptosporidium (or Crypto) can survive in properly treated water for more than seven days. Pools, hot tubs and water playgrounds with proper chlorine or bromine levels and pH are less likely to spread germs. To protect swimmers’ health and safety, utilizing pool and spa water test strips will help to monitor chlorine and pH levels of swimming pools and hot tubs to decrease exposure to germs. 

Take the following steps every time you enjoy the water to keep yourself and others safe from germs. 


  • DO stay out of the water if you are sick with diarrhea.
  • DO shower before getting in the water.
    • When chlorine mixes with dirt, sweat, pee and poop, there is less chlorine available to kill germs.
  • DO take kids on bathroom breaks or check diapers every hour. 
    • Change diapers away from the water to keep germs from getting in.
  • DO dry ears thoroughly with a towel when you get out of the water.


  • DON’T swallow the water.
  • DON’T poop or pee in the water.
  • DON’T sit or stand on the jets at splash pads. Sitting or standing on jets can rinse poop particles off the body and into the water allowing germs to enter.

Additionally, drownings are the leading cause of injury or death for young children ages 1 to 14, and 4,000 people die each year because of drowning. Parents can play a key role in protecting the children they love from drowning by: 

  • Making sure to watch children and pets while they are in the pool.
  • Fencing off the pool when not in use.
  • Ensuring kids wear life jackets in and around natural bodies of water, such as lakes or the ocean, even if they know how to swim.

For more information on Healthy and Safe Swimming Week, visit the CDC's Healthy Swimming guidelines.                             




County health departments throughout Alabama provide a wide range of confidential and professional services. Contact your local county health department for additional information.

Mission: To promote, protect, and improve Alabama’s health

Vision: Healthy People. Healthy Communities. Healthy Alabama.