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Stay safe while swimming in lakes, rivers and streams

August 14, 2015

LETHBRIDGE – As Albertans enjoy the hot summer weather, Alberta Health Services (AHS) is again reminding Albertans to take precautions against the potential risks of swimming in open bodies of water.

Swimming in un-monitored open bodies of water can be enjoyable; however, these bodies of water pose inherent safety risks, including hidden obstructions in the water (such as logs and rocks) and fast moving currents coupled with cold water temperature. These factors can increase the risk of injury when swimming, diving and boating.

To reduce these risks, remember:

Unlike the local swimming pool, lakes, rivers and streams may contain micro-organisms that can cause illness in humans. This is a heightened risk during times of higher temperatures and lower water level. For example, in the last few weeks in South Zone, there have been increased reports of gastro-intestinal illness that has been linked to recreational swimming.

To reduce risk of illness associated with recreational water bodies:

Alberta Health Services is the provincial health authority responsible for planning and delivering health supports and services for more than four million adults and children living in Alberta. Its mission is to provide a patient-focused, quality health system that is accessible and sustainable for all Albertans.

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