swim healthy



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Swimming – All our event will involve some form of open water swimming. As with all our obstacles and challenges nothing is compulsory, if you cant swim or are not confident in open water you can walk around these obstacles. Buoyancy aids are available, if you are a weak swimmer or are not confident in open water please wear them.

COLD WATER SHOCK Please note the water will be cold and as such you can expect to encounter cold water shock. Symptoms;- as you first enter the water your body’s reaction will be to gasp for air, you will then experience increased heart rate and increased blood pressure, blood flow to your limbs will be reduced as your body goes into survival mode. The most important thing is DONT PANIC, these symptoms usually pass quickly as your body adjusts. Water Safe UK Search and Rescue will be on hand to assist you whilst in the water.

Water – Enter water with extreme care, DO NOT DIVE or JUMP unless instructed to do so. Water exits will become extremely slippery so exit with caution to avoid slipping.

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Open water swimming refers to swimming in lakes, rivers and reservoirs. There have been outbreaks of gastrointestinal infections reported associated with open water swimming.

If you fall ill with symptoms after the event, particularly from 3-19 days following, then see your doctor immediately. Common symptoms could include sudden onset of fever, diarrhoea, intense headache, if you suffer any of these symptoms please consult your GP immediately.

Reducing the risk of illness
Before you swim:
• cover cuts, scratches or sores with a waterproof plaster before swimming
• consider wearing appropriate protective clothing such as a leggings and gloves.

While you are swimming:
• try to avoid swallowing and/or splashing water or mud into your mouth
• observe local safety advice
After swimming:
• ensure you clean your hands thoroughly after swimming and before handling/eating food
• thoroughly clean cuts or abrasions
• handle your kit with care after use. Rinse it with clean water as soon as is practicable after swimming. Clean with detergent and rinse as advised by the manufacturer. Always wash your hands with soap and water after handling or cleaning your kit. Allow to dry thoroughly before reuse.

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Water Quality – Water obstacles are supplied from a variety of natural sources including springs, rivers and surface streams, these waters have fluctuating levels of bacteria.

What are the risks?
Open water is not considered to be of bathing quality as it can contain sewage, livestock contamination, and pollution from farming or industry. Anyone can become unwell from swimming in open water as there will always be micro-organisms present. The risk of becoming ill depends on various factors:

• children and novice swimmers are more likely to swallow water accidentally
• those with an impaired immune system are more susceptible to infection
• those swimming in estuarine areas are more likely to contract infections
• heavy rainfall can affect the amount of sewage in rivers due to over flow from drainage systems

Open water swimming can increase the risk of gastrointestinal infections (diarrhoea and/or vomiting) as well as respiratory, skin, ear and eye infections. Most symptoms of these illnesses, for example from organisms such as norovirus, giardia and cryptosporidium, will generally be mild. However, there is also a risk of more severe infections caused by organisms such as E.coli which may cause severe gastrointestinal illness and leptospirosis, which can cause liver and kidney problems.

If you fall ill with symptoms after the event, particularly from 3-19 days following, then see your doctor immediately.

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