As temperatures climb this summer, public pools and water parks certainly look like a refreshing way to beat the heat. Ready to shuck your flip-flops and take the plunge?
Not so fast. Before you dive in, you should probably check with the facility about its inspection status, health officials with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warn.
According to a study published online May 20 in the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, thousands of venues in the U.S. where people swim or wade in treated water — public pools, hot tubs, water playgrounds and parks — had to be closed in 2013 due to health and safety violations. And in 1 in 8 of those closures, conditions were so unhealthy or unsafe that the venue had to be shut down immediately, the report said.
For the report, researchers looked at data from the Network for Aquatic Facility Inspection Surveillance (NAFIS) database gathered in 2013. The data came from local inspection agencies in the five states in the U.S. with the most public aquatic facilities: California, Texas, Arizona, Florida and New York.