(WHNT) — State health officials are offering tips ahead of the upcoming “Health and Safe Swimming Week.”

The annual initiative is spearheaded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and focuses on the health benefits of swimming, all while promoting healthy and safe activities in the water.

This year, the week is observed from May 23 to May 29.

The theme for 2022’s week is “Make a Healthy Splash,” in recognition of staying healthy and safe while using outdoor splash pads – which can often spread germs when not adequately disinfected.

According to the Alabama Department of Public Health, splash pads are designed to avoid standing water so that the risk of drowning is significantly minimized. However, since germs are washed off children’s bodies while at a splash pad, it’s easier to get sick if the water isn’t disinfected properly.

ADPH said while most germs are killed within minutes, the germ cryptosporidium can survive in properly treated water for more than a week.

Health officials offered these tips for enjoying the water and staying safe:

  • Stay out of the water if you’re sick with diarrhea
  • Shower before getting in the water and make sure kids are taken on bathroom breaks or have their diapers changed every hour
  • Dry ears thoroughly with a towel once you’re out of the water
  • Don’t sit or stand on the jets at splash pads
  • Don’t swallow the water

To learn more about Health and Safe Swimming Week or to see general healthy swimming guidance, visit cdc.gov.