Special Report

It Only Takes a Minute to Drown and 12 Other Water Safety Facts You Must Not Ignore

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11. Shower before and after a swim

Chlorine and other disinfectants don’t kill all germs, at least not right away. Most people know to take a shower after a swim to avoid getting sick with recreational water illness (RWI) caused by germs in the water. But about 40% of people don’t, according to a survey by the Water Quality and Health Council. The CDC recommends people take a shower before entering the water as this may help keep germs, dirt, and sweat out of the water.

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12. You CAN eat and go into the water

Most children have probably heard the dreadful words: “No swimming, you just ate.” It turns out this may have just been made up by parents who simply wanted to take a break from watching the kids in the water. The common belief that the energy spent on digestion could affect the energy level required for swimming has no scientific evidence.

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13. Surviving a strong current is counterintuitive

Rip currents can be scary. Being trapped in a fast-moving channel of water that pulls you inside can make some people panic. Most people will instinctevely start to swim towards the shore, and panic even more when they see they are not getting any closer. The first thing people should do is stay calm and remember that the current will not pull them under water. To swim out of the current, you have to swim parallel to the shore until you see waves breaking as this is where most currents end. Then swim towards the shore at an angle, following the breaking waves.