Whether you are drinking it, bathing in it or enjoying recreational activities in it, it is always important to practice water safety. Many illnesses travellers contract while abroad are due to contaminated water, most commonly traveller’s diarrhea.
Here are some water safety tips to help keep you healthy while travelling:
Consume Water Safely
It is important to remember to replenish your fluids while travelling to avoid heat and sun stroke. As many water sources are contaminated and can make you ill, it is best to take the necessary precautions before consuming water. If you are unsure of where your water came from, do not consume it, find an alternative source of water. Water sources include ice cubes, coffee, tea or other beverages made with water (such as reconstituted juices).
To ensure water safety, choose to consume bottled water, boil your water, use chemical disinfectants or portable filtration systems.
Bottled Water: Be sure to check that the seal has not been tampered with.
Boiling Water: Water should be at a rolling boil for a minimum of one minute.
Chemical Disinfectants: Should be purchased in Canada and can come in the form of drops, tablets and powder. Read and follow directions carefully. Disinfectants may not kill all contaminants, further boiling may be suggested.
Portable Filtration Systems: Filter pore size should be less than 0.5 microns. Filter may not remove all contaminants, further boiling or chemical disinfection is suggested.
Water Safety while Swimming & Bathing
Water used to shower and bathe may also be contaminated. While you can not get sick from safely cleansing yourself in this water, there is still a chance that you may fall ill if the water is inhaled or swallowed. To be safe, try to keep the water away from your nose and mouth. Care should be taken in bathing, pools, hot tubs, rivers or fresh water bodies. Caution should also be taken when brushing teeth, using bottled water is a great alternative to tap water.
Recreational Water Safety
Vacations offer great opportunities to take part in various recreational water activities. Water safety is important to remember when engaging in these activities to help you remain safe so you can continue to enjoy your vacation.
Swimming: Never swim alone and be sure to obey all posted signs and warnings. These will be a good indication as to the water conditions. Swim close to the shore and be sure to watch for large waves and tides. Do not jump off large undesignated cliffs, as you may not know how deep the waters are or what lies below. Look out for coral and ocean wildlife as you can hurt them and they can hurt you.
Boating: Obey the water safety laws of your destination. Ensure that all people on the boat are wearing life jackets at all times. Always check the weather report before heading out and watch for hazards in and on the waters. Don’t drink and boat!
Non-Motorized Water Sports: Be sure to follow the direction provided with your vessel’s rental. Do not overload the watercraft and ensure to keep the centre of gravity balanced and low. Wear a lifejacket at all times and remain within sight of the shore. Carry water and sunscreen onboard.
Scuba Diving: Never dive alone or without experience. Ensure that you have equipment that is up-to-date and safe for the conditions. It is strongly suggested to participate in a diving certification program such as PADI or NAUI.
Water can provide us with hydration, cleanliness and recreational entertainment. But, it is also important to keep in mind that water can be dangerous or contaminated. Water safety should always be at the front of your mind while travelling to help keep you and your family safe.
For better peace of mind, never go on vacation without travel insurance or emergency medical insurance. In Canada, travellers can visit Travelance‘s website to learn more about its flexible and affordable travel insurance products.
To speak to a licensed Travelance broker, contact us through our website or call 1-855-566-8555.
We hope you have a happy and safe vacation!