Marking the start of the summer swim season, next week (May 18-24) is the fifth annual Recreational Water Illness Prevention Week, established to call attention to the problem and focus efforts on prevention.

"The theme for this year’s RWI Prevention Week focuses on injuries associated with pool chemicals. These preventable injuries lead to thousands of emergency room visits each year. Pool chemical–related injuries are associated with both public and residential pools, and many occur during the summer swim season," said Michael Beach, associate director for healthy water, and Rob Blake, chief of the environmental health services branch of the Centers for Disease Control, in an open letter about this year's program.

Along with information on recreational water illnesses including Crytpo, the CDC has now posted safe chemical handling recommendations on its Healthy Swimming Web site. Additional materials and infomation will be avaialble in the coming weeks. To help health officials and pool operators educate the public about appropriate swimming behaviors, CDC’s Healthy Swimming Program has printed one million new brochures, available for free via the Heathy Swimming Web site.