Before you jump in a lake, pool, or the ocean to cool off Ė thereís something you need to know. As refreshing as it looks Ė it may be dangerous in more ways than one.

Letís start with the pool. If the water isnít sparkling and clear, donít get in. A woman in Boston drowned this summer in a public pool and her body wasnít found for two days, while the pool was used as usual by swimmers and lifeguards! Why? Because the water was so murky no one could see her at the bottom! If the water had been clear, she may have been spotted immediately and saved.

Also, regarding the pool, stay away if babies are in the water. Find the adult pool. Even trace amounts of waste matter from a dirty diaper can harbor parasites and contaminate the entire pool. And the more the merrier does not apply when it comes to public pools. More bodies equal more germs, bacteria and viruses in the water.

What about a lake? Beautiful, peaceful, and filled with algae. Blue-green algae can grow like crazy in a lake and produce toxic bacteria. If thereís a slimy, green film on the surface, thatís a warning sign. Donít jump in. If thereís a weird smell, donít jump in either Ė thatís another sign of algae. And donít let your dog jump in. Dogs have died after exposure.

Lastly, the ocean. Debris usually washes up on a beach. If things are floating away from shore, like seaweed, that means thereís a riptide. And even strong swimmers can be no match for a strong current.   

A little observation before jumping in will make for a safe and enjoyable swim.  

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