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Tips on staying safe while at the lake, river

OKLAHOMA CITY – Independence Day is just a couple of days away and officials are encouraging Oklahomans visiting lakes or rivers to take some precautions while on the water.

According to the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality, “natural bodies of water, especially warm and stagnant water, can contain organisms
that may cause illness. Bacteria, viruses, and other microorganisms can cause skin, eye, and ear infections, respiratory infections, or gastrointestinal upset.”

Consider the following precautions to protect against water-borne sickness when out and about in natural waters:

Choose swimming areas carefully

  • Pay attention to signage about water conditions
  • Stay away from any area that has stagnant water, floating debris, scum, an oil sheen, or dead fish
  • Avoid swimming near storm drains
  • Do not swim in flooded areas

Take simple precautions

  • Hold nose or wear nose plugs when jumping into the water
  • Avoid swallowing water when swimming
  • Wear ear plugs to prevent ear infections
  • Wear swim goggles or masks to prevent eye infections
  • Wash skin with soap and water after swimming

Prevent spread of illness to others 

  • Take children to the restroom frequently
  • Use swim diapers on infants
  • Rinse off prior to entering the water
  • Avoid swimming if you are ill
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