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Safe Swimming these holidays

22 December 2005

Safe Swimming these holidays

Before you or your family take the plunge into the local river or lagoon to cool off over the summer holidays, make a quick check of the conditions to see how clean the water is.

Water conditions can change rapidly, especially after heavy rain, and it’s important that children and adults learn to "read the water" for safety and water quality, before leaping in.

To prevent illness from water-based recreational activities, it is best to avoid waterways for three days after heavy rain, especially if the water is murky. Also people should avoid waterways if there is livestock or large numbers of birds in or near the water.

Illnesses related to infected water can include diarrhoea and sometimes vomiting (tummy bug symptoms) but also flu-like symptoms, skin, ear and eye infections. People with symptoms that persist should see their doctor.

Further information on the water quality of recreational waterways con be found on:

- The Public Health Unit’s 24 hour Safe Swimming Line: (06) 878-1368.
- The Hawke’s Bay District Health Board website: www.healthinhawkesbay.co.nz under public health alerts.
- The Hawke’s Bay Regional Council website: www.hbrc.govt.nz under environmental monitoring.

ENDS

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