A lot of families are going to spend time at area lakes over the Fourth of July holiday, but there is a warning about the safety of the water in some of those lakes. Because of the recent flooding, elevated levels of E. coli have been found in some area lakes. The danger comes from getting that water in your mouth, either by swimming or through an open wound. Most area lakes are checked weekly and you can call ahead before you and your family hit the beach.
Dr. John Alm is a sports medicine doctor with The University of Kansas Health system, and he knows something about the potential of getting sick from swimming…he’s the team doctor for the USA Swim Team, competing in South Korea at The world championships in July. In the video Alm says if you have an open cut or wound to stay away from open waters if there are bacteria advisories, like high levels of E. coli in the water. Wash your hands, especially if you’re eating food while out on the lake. Dr. Alm says the biggest risk is when kids go from playing in the water to eating food, where there is cross contamination into the mouth. Although the skin acts as a good protective barrier, both you and your kids should rinse off after swimming. In fact, Dr. Alm recommends rinsing off even after swimming in the pool. Bacterial wipes are good, but just basic soap and water, and a shower rather than a bath is best. Also remember to change into clean clothes.
The video also contains shots of Smithville Lake.