May is National Water Safety Month
Because of the popularity of swimming and water-related
recreational activities in the United States, and the resulting need for ongoing
public health education on safer water practices, May 2012 is recognized as National
Water Safety Month. The County of San Bernardino Department of Public Health Division
of Environmental Health Services uses this annual observance month to raise awareness
about healthy and safe recreational water practices.
In San Bernardino County, National Water Safety Month will be celebrated through
educational programs, public service announcements via social media outreach, and
the distribution of water safety-themed materials.
The Pool Safely website
has valuable resources on drowning prevention and healthy swimming for parents and
families, as well as information for pool industry operators on public pool and
spa safety requirements.
Recreational Water Illness and Injury Prevention Week is May 21–27, 2012
The week before Memorial Day (May 21-27, 2012)
is Recreational Water Illness and Injury (RWII) Prevention Week. The Division of
Environmental Health Services uses this annual observance week to raise awareness
about healthy and safe swimming, and to highlight ways to prevent recreational water
illnesses and injuries.
Every year, thousands of Americans get sick with recreational water illnesses (RWIs),
which are caused by germs found in places where we swim. Every day, two children
under the age of 14 years die from drowning; it is the leading cause of death for
children 1–4 years old. Healthy and safe swimming means preventing the spread of
the germs that cause RWIs and keeping children safe from drowning.
Drowning is preventable, although each year thousands die and more are left with
long-term consequences including memory problems, learning disabilities, and permanent
loss of basic functioning (e.g., permanent vegetative state). To reduce the risk
of drowning, San Bernardino County residents should:
RWIs are also preventable, but prevention requires swimmers to take an active role
in protecting themselves and other swimmers. Research shows that health education
campaigns are an effective way to increase swimmer awareness and encourage healthy
swimming behaviors. Simple steps swimmers can take to help prevent the spread of
germs that cause RWIs include:
- Prepare by making sure that:
o Everyone knows how to swim
o Older children and adults know CPR and rescue breathing
- When in the water, keep swimmers safe by:
o Using life jackets that fit properly for younger or weaker swimmers
o Providing continuous, attentive supervision close to the swimmers even if there
is a lifeguard
o Avoiding alcohol and drugs when swimming or watching swimmers
- When NOT in the water, prevent access to the water by:
o Installing and maintaining barriers (for pools: 4-sided fencing and weight-bearing
o Using locks or alarms for windows and doors
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website has valuable information
on drowning prevention and healthy swimming.
- Don't swim when you have diarrhea. You can spread germs in the water and make others
- Don't swallow pool water. Avoid getting water in your mouth.
- Practice good hygiene. Shower with soap before swimming and wash your hands after
using the toilet or changing diapers. Germs on your body end up in the water.
o Wash their children before swimming (especially their rear ends).
o Check diapers every 30–60 minutes. Change diapers in a bathroom or a diaper-changing
area and not at poolside. Germs can spread in and around the pool.
o Take your kids to the bathroom every 30–60 minutes. Waiting to hear "I have to
go" may mean that it's too late.
Article reference: Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention
Plan Submittal for Pool Equipment Replacement/Addition
The California Health and Safety Code requires
that any person proposing to alter a public swimming pool or auxiliary structure
or equipment, shall submit plans and specifications to this Division for review
and written approval prior to commencing the work and in advance of the issuance
of any building, plumbing or electrical permits. Examples of alterations requiring
plan submittals includes the replacement of a pool pump, filter, skimmer or any
underground plumbing, or the addition of any electrical components which may affect
the pool circulation/turnover time. Remodeling/replacement of pool decking, fencing
or restrooms also requires plan review.
For any questions regarding pool remodeling and plan review requirements, call Freddie
Agyin at (909) 948-5060.
New Health Education Presentation / Event Request Form
The Division of Environmental Health Services – Health Education Program has created
a new application form for health education presentation / event requests. Click
here to download the form. We ask that you please return
the completed form at least two weeks prior to your planned event. We will respond
within one week of receiving your submission (please note: submission of form does
not guarantee representation at your event). You may also use this form to request
free written materials (brochures, handouts, flyers, etc.) on pool safety and drowning
Find us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter
of San Bernardino, Environmental Health Services is on Facebook and
Twitter. Join the conversation about pool safety, foodborne illness
prevention, vector control and more.
If you have any questions or comments, please contact Amanda Gaspard, Health Education Specialist,
at 800-442-2283 or Amanda.Gaspard@dph.sbcounty.gov.