By Tori Mason
DENVER (CBS4)– A lot more goes into practicing safe swimming than keeping an eye on your little ones while they are in the water and it could be days before symptoms appear.
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment reminds people to protect themselves from recreational waterborne illnesses such as cryptosporidiosis (Crypto) and giardiasis (Giardia).
Crypto and Giardia are parasites that cause intestinal problems. They can survive in water for days, even in chlorinated pools.
They’re mostly spread by swallowing water contaminated by infected feces.
That’s why it’s important that parents change diapers away from the poolside and take kids on bathroom breaks every hour.
Symptoms like nausea, diarrhea and stomach cramps can show up anywhere from two days to four weeks after swallowing the parasite.
Nicole Schneider recently visited a public pool with her son started noticing these symptoms. He ended up in the emergency room.
“Sometimes kids don’t know that they’re swallowing water. I try to make sure that they take a deep breath and hold their breath. Parents should be very careful about changing diapers around the water and if a child has an accident they should alert a lifeguard so that other children are not at risk,” said Schneider.
Symptoms typically begin two days to four weeks, or one week on average, after swallowing the parasite and can come and go for a month or longer.
If you think you are experiencing any of those symptoms and you’ve been in a public swimming area, contact the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment at 303-692-2700 and your doctor.