OKLAHOMA CITY- With Labor Day less than a week away, many Oklahomans are planning a family getaway to some of the state’s waterways and parks.
While officials say you should have fun in the sun, they also stress that you need to be cautious when heading out on the water.
The Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality says certain bacteria, viruses and protozoa can be found in untreated bodies of water.
Some of the microorganisms can cause problems like an ear infections, swimmer’s itch, gastrointestinal upset, eye infections and some forms of meningitis.
Officials suggest swimmers do the following when spending time at a local lake or river:
- Hold nose or wear nose plugs when jumping into the water.
- Wash open skin cuts and scrapes with clean soap and water immediately after swimming.
- Avoid swallowing water when swimming.
- Wear ear plugs to prevent ear infections.
- Wear swim goggles or masks to prevent eye infections.
- Avoid swimming near storm drains.
- Take children to the restroom frequently or use swim diapers on infants.
- Stay away from any area that has floating debris, stagnant water, oil sheens or dead fish.
They also stress that swimmers should pay close attention to water conditions.
For more information, visit the DEQ’s website.