swim healthy

openwaterswimming

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openwaterswimming

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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waterquality

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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swimhealthy

Reduce the risk of illness.

Before you swim or get muddy:
• cover cuts, scratches or sores with a waterproof plaster before the event.

While you are taking part in the event:
• avoid swallowing and/or splashing water or mud into your mouth
• keep your head above the water, lower your self into the water where possible
• observe event safety brief & information signs
• take care at drink stations, its important to stay hydrated however take care at drink stations to avoid cross contamination whilst drinking.
• none of the obstacles are compulsory, if you are unsure or want to avoid the risk of illness there is always an alternative route to avoid the water or mud, the choice is yours?

When you finish and after the event:
• ensure you clean your hands thoroughly after the event and before handling/eating food
• thoroughly clean cuts or abrasions using soap and water
• 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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