Water Safety

The water is getting warm!  This post from your favorite Maryland-based urgent care providers will inform you of some healthy suggestions on how to stay safe in and around different types of water.  Wherever you are, always keep an eye on young swimmers, using flotation devices whenever possible. Do not take a life preserver for granted, however, as there is still a lot of danger if a swimmer knocks their head on a diving board, for example.

Swimming Pools

While often shallow and patrolled by lifeguards, swimming pools can pose a risk with water-borne diseases.  Water-borne illnesses are caused by swallowing, breathing in mists of, or having contact with contaminated water.  Contaminated water can cause infections, including gastrointestinal, skin, ear, respiratory, eye, neurologic and wound infections, but the most common water-borne illness is diarrhea.  Before entering a swimming pool, make sure that it has been tested recently and its inspection was cleared. Take a shower to prevent bringing your own bacteria into the pool.  Look for a lifeguard, and if there is no lifeguard, make sure you know where the rescue devices, like a floating ring, are located.


When swimming in oceans, you must be wary of rip tides.  Rip tides are strong currents that suck water quickly away from the shore. If you find yourself in a rip tide, do NOT swim against it.  Swim parallel to the shore until you are out of the current, then swim diagonally away from the current and toward the shore. Also be aware of heavy surf and strong winds, as you can be seriously injured by crashing waves.


Lakes generally pose less of a risk of water-borne illnesses. Local authorities will post warnings if lake water is unsafe. Most danger in lakes comes from boating.  Always wear a life preserver when boating, and never allow anyone under the influence of drugs or alcohol to operate the boat.


Rivers can be extremely dangerous.  With fast moving currents and unseen obstacles, swimming in them should be taken very seriously.  Only swim in areas with slow or no current. When boating, wear life preservers and do not think the boat is your guarantee of safety.  


If you have any questions about water safety or are feeling ill after swimming, give UNI Urgent Care a call right away!

This information is not a substitute for medical advice nor is it intended as such. If you have questions about your health please contact our offices, or 911 in case of an emergency.

Information from the Center for Disease Control was used in this post.