Summer activities are heating up in North Carolina.
Are you heading for North Carolina's recreational waters to beat the heat? Here are six tips to keep you and your pets safe.
1. Avoid Harmful Algal Blooms
Algal blooms can produce toxins harmful to people and pets.
They often appear as thick scum on the water's surface or along the shoreline. They can be green, blue-green or red in color.
Avoid contact, and keep your pets away, too.
2. Avoid Suspicious Water Conditions
Does the water appear discolored? Does it have a strong odor or contain visible debris? This could mean poor water quality or possible bacterial contamination.
Choose a different location to ensure a safer water experience for you and your pets.
3. Check for Water Quality Advisory Updates
Check for water quality advisories and warnings before enjoying summer water activities.
Advisories may include alerts about harmful algal blooms or bacteria contamination.
4. Prevent Ingestion
Avoid ingesting water. Keep your mouth closed and hold your nose shut or use a nose clip to reduce risk of illness.
Keep pets from drinking or ingesting water while swimming to prevent illness. Carry fresh water for your pets to drink. Keep them hydrated throughout water activities.
5. Rinse Off After Water Activities
After swimming, rinse yourself and your pets with clean fresh water. This helps to remove any potential bacteria, algae or toxins that may cling to the skin or fur.
6. Watch for Symptoms
Watch for symptoms in yourself or your pets after water activities. This includes:
- Skin irritations
- Gastrointestinal issues
- Respiratory problems
- Unusual behavior
If you or your pets exhibit any symptoms, seek medical attention.