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Social Media Library

The messages below are intended for state and local health departments, organizations, public health and medical professionals, and the public to use with social media tools such as Twitter and Facebook. Each message is 140 characters or less, per Twitter requirements. These messages may be used as written or customized to address local or other specific needs.

Social Media Library


  • Americans swim hundreds of millions of times each year in pools, oceans, lakes, rivers and hot tubs/spas.
  • Swimming is the most popular recreational activity for children & teens (ages 7-17).
  • Most people have a safe and healthy time enjoying the water, but illnesses and injuries can occur.

Benefits of Water-based Activity

  • The benefits of water-based activity outweigh the risks of illness and injury.
  • Water-based exercise can help people with chronic diseases, such as arthritis.
  • Water-based exercise puts little or no stress on joints. In arthritis patients, it improves use of affected joints.
  • Water-based exercise improves mental health—for example it decreases depression and improves mood.
  • Water-based exercise can benefit older adults by improving the quality of life and decreasing disability.
  • Water-based exercise can improve or maintain the bone health of post-menopausal women.
  • Swimming can be a great way to get and stay fit during pregnancy.
  • Water is 4x thicker than air. A 400 yard swim = 1 mile run.  Work up to it, get in shape & lose weight.
  • When you are in better physical condition, you can also swim longer distances.
  • You can enjoy your time at the lake or in the pool much more when you are in shape.
  • Don’t be bashful about poor swimming skills, take lessons. You can learn to swim at any age.
  • Swimming is great exercise. It combines strength, stamina and technique.
  • Swimming and alcohol are never a good combination.  If you are going to swim, stay sober.

Recreational Water Illnesses

  • Recreational water illnesses (RWIs) are illnesses caused by germs and chemicals found in the water we swim in.
  • Learn more about recreational water illnesses (RWIs) at
  • Recreational water illnesses (RWIs) are caused by swallowing, breathing in mists of & having contact with contaminated water.
  • Recreational water illnesses (RWIs) are often linked to swimming in pools, hot tubs/spas, water parks, and splash parks.
  • Recreational water illnesses (RWIs) include gastrointestinal, skin, ear, respiratory, eye, neurologic and wound infections.
  • Swimmers might introduce poop into the water if they don’t shower before getting in or have diarrheal incident in the water.
  • Poop from swimmers might contain germs. If the germs are swallowed by other swimmers, then they can be infected & become sick.
  • Help prevent recreational water illnesses (RWIs) with the Steps of Healthy Swimming:
  • Diarrhea is the most common recreational water illness (RWI). Stay out of the water if you have diarrhea so others don’t get sick!
  • A single diarrheal incident can introduce millions of germs into the water. If people swallow the water, they could get sick.
  • More than 1 in 5 American adults do not know that swimming while ill with diarrhea can potentially make other swimmers sick.
  • Have diarrhea caused by Cryptosporidium (Crypto)? Stay out of the water while sick and the 2 weeks after symptoms stop.
  • In 2009-2010, 81 recreational water illness (RWI) outbreaks made over 1,300 people sick in U.S.
  • In 2009-2010, Cryptosporidium (Crypto), caused more than half of recreational water illness (RWI) outbreaks of diarrheal illness.
Cryptosporidium (Crypto)
  • Cryptosporidium (Crypto) is a germ that causes diarrhea lasting up to 2-3 weeks in healthy people.
  • Cryptosporidium (Crypto) is the leading cause of U.S. outbreaks linked to the water we swim in.
  • Cryptosporidium (Crypto) comes from poop from infected swimmers and can survive for up to 10 days in well-chlorinated pools.
  • Cryptosporidium (Crypto) can lead to fatal weight loss and malnutrition in people with weakened immune systems.
  • In 2007, Cryptosporidium (Crypto) caused a statewide outbreak linked to swimming pools, sickening thousands.
  • Prevent Crypto—follow the Steps of Healthy Swimming!
  • Giardia is a germ that causes diarrhea. Illness can last a few days or weeks or even longer.
  • Giardia is one of the leading causes of U.S. outbreaks linked to the water we swim in.
  • Giardia comes from poop from infected swimmers and can survive up to 45 minutes in a well-chlorinated pool.
  • Prevent Giardia infection—follow the Steps of Healthy Swimming!
Swimmer’s ear
  • Swimmer’s ear is an infection that can occur if contaminated water stays in the ear canal for a long time.
  • Swimmer’s ear is common in children and swimmers of all ages.
  • Germs that can be found in pools, such as (Pseudomonas aeruginosa), are the most common cause of swimmer’s ear.
  • Swimmer’s ear results in an estimated 2.4 million health care visits/year & nearly 1/2B dollars in health care costs.
  • Keep ears dry as possible. Learn more about how to prevent swimmer’s ear:
Hot tub rash
  • Hot tub rash is an infection that can occur if contaminated water comes in contact with skin for a long time.
  • Hot tub rash is caused by (Pseudomonas aeruginosa) and can affect people of all ages.
  • Most hot tub rashes clear up in a few days without medical treatment.
  • Lower your risk of hot tub rash! Remove your swimsuit and shower with soap after getting out of the water.


  • Swimmers have the power to help keep themselves and others healthy and safe in the water.
  • Each of us has the power to help keep our pools healthy and safe.
  • Remember the steps of healthy swimming:
  • Swimmers have the power to keep poop, germs, and pee out of the water.
  • Do you think that disinfectants like chlorine kill germs instantly? Think again! Disinfectants kill most germs within minutes.
  • Routine pool inspections, pool staff training, and good pool maintenance help protect swimmers from germs.
  • Stay out of the water if you have diarrhea.
  • Shower before you get in the water.
  • Don’t pee or poop in the water.
  • Use test strips to check chlorine and pH levels before getting into the water. Superstores, hardware stores sell.
  • For pools, CDC recommends a free chlorine level of 1—3 ppm and a pH level of 7.2—7.8.
  • For hot tubs/spas, CDC recommends a free chlorine level of 2—4 ppm or bromine level of 4—6 ppm and a pH level of 7.2—7.8.
  • You don’t drink the water you bathe in, why would you drink the water you swim in? Don’t swallow the water!
  • Don’t swallow the water.
  • Every hour—everyone out! Take the kids on bathroom breaks, check diapers, reapply sunscreen, drink plenty of fluids.
Pee in the pool
  • If swimmers pee in the pool, the pee mixes with the chlorine and uses it up. So there is less chlorine to kill germs.
  • Have your eyes gotten red while swimming? It’s not because of the chlorine. It’s because of chlorine mixed with pee. Yuck!
  • Strong chemical smell at the pool? The smell is probably chlorine mixed with pee. A healthy pool doesn’t smell.
  • Keep pools and people healthy by keeping the pee out!

Topics for Parents

  • Breastfeeding is one of the most important steps mothers can take to promote a baby’s well-being.
  • Breastfeeding in a pool is different from poolside or other settings. Learn about health and safety risks:
Swim diapers
  • Do you think swim diapers will prevent leaks into the pool? Not so fast! They don’t stop germs from getting out.
  • Swim diapers can delay — but not prevent — germs like Cryptosporidium (Crypto) from getting into pool water.
  • All swimmers should stay out of the water when they have diarrhea, even if they are wearing swim diapers or swim pants.
  • Swim diapers are not a substitute for bathroom breaks and diaper changes. Take breaks every 60 mins and check diapers every 30–60 mins.


  • Every day, about 10 people in the U.S. die from drowning. 2 of the 10 are under the age of 15 years.
  • In 2010, 726 kids under the age of 15 years died from drowning.
  • Drowning kills more kids 1–4 years old than anything else except birth defects.
  • Nearly 80% of people who die from drowning are male.
  • Get the facts about drowning and water safety:
  • Learn to swim! Formal swimming lessons in children as young as 1 year old can reduce the risk of drowning.
  • Always supervise children when they are in or around water.
  • Wear a life jacket! Half of all boating deaths could be prevented with the use of life jackets.
  • Don’t use air-filled or foam toys, such as “water wings” or inner-tubes, instead of a life jacket.
  • A fence that completely separates the pool from house and yard can help protect young children from drowning.
  • No matter how strong of a swimmer you are, don’t swim alone.

Other Venues

  • Pools aren’t the only places we swim or play in the water! Swim healthy in splash parks, lakes, rivers, and the ocean.
Interactive Fountains (Splash Parks)
  • Make a healthy splash this summer — in pools and interactive fountains.
  • Interactive fountains are also known as splash parks, splash pads, and spray parks. Water typically recycled and can contain germs.
  • Swallowing water in interactive fountains can make you sick.
  • Don’t sit on water jets in interactive fountains.
  • Learn about interactive fountains:
  • Check out this  #infographic on interactive fountains:
  • Each year, 91 million people swim at U.S. freshwater and marine beaches.
  • The water at the beach looks clean, but is it? Water may contain germs you can’t see.
  • Germs in water can cause minor illnesses (sore throats, diarrhea) or more serious illnesses that last longer than vacation!
  • Avoid swimming for a day after heavy rain. Germs can come from overflowing sewage, polluted storm water & runoff from land.
  • Don’t swim near storm drains (pipes that drain polluted water from streets) along the beach.
  • Stay away from trash & oil slicks in the water. They might mean germs washed into the water, too.
  • If you think your beach water has germs or pollution, contact your local health or environmental protection officials.
  • Follow these steps for healthy swimming at the beach or at the pool:

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