April 3, 2017
I received a few more questions about swimming.
What about lake swimming?
Lake swimming poses a few wrinkles that are different from pool swimming. The lakes of the south are opaque making it difficult to see a child underwater if they are in trouble. Therefore, I recommend that all young children swim with a weight class appropriate life vest that can hold their weight.
Be aware of docks and ladders that are electrified. Make sure that they have a GFI in place to short the circuit in case the electricity hits the water. A few children die every year from lake swimming and electrocution. Visit this site for more information.
Lakes are often fed by rivers which can be polluted by industry or sewage spills. Be aware of your local water quality. Here is the local Catawba river site for water quality. I often worry about the chemicals that make it into the water upstream. This website has a bounty of information to keep you in the know regarding safe water activities.
Avoid swimming in lakes that have a film of green or blueish algae on them.
Be careful for glass and metal on lake beds. Teenagers often party near lakes and throw bottles into the shallow water. Consider having your children wear water shoes or stay in the deeper water.
Encourage your children to not drink the water. Oral ingestion is the fastest route to toxicity if there is contamination with chemicals or bacteria. This is likely the number one route of infection.
By all means swim! Just practice some simple safety rules.
Finally, if you are exposed to toxic or infectious substances from a lake or pool, having a robust and healthy immune/detoxification system before the exposure can mitigate much of the risk. The way to maintain these systems is through frequent consumption of organic vegetables and fruits that are loaded with chemicals that enhance our detox and immune system's function.