Don't go swimming with an open wound

With the weather heating up, today’s tip is another water safety tip, in the style of the many we’ve run before (see below). You should never go swimming with an open wound, as illustrated by a scary story reported last week.

Earlier this month, as ABC7 tells it, 12-year-old Kylei went swimming while on vacation in Destin, Florida, a day after scuffing her toe on a skateboard. From just that scuff, she “contracted a rare bacterial infection called necrotizing fasciitis, an aggressive, life-threatening infection that kills one out of every three people who get it.” Kylei experienced pain in her leg soon after, and back home in Indiana after the vacation, her leg began to swell and she became feverish. Before long, she was at the ER and then in surgery to save her life—and then her leg.

Fortunately, the story ends with Kylei in full recovery, her life and her leg intact. But the lesson her mother wants to pass forward is that swimming with an open wound invites serious risk. And an open wound doesn’t just mean an obvious gash. On its page for necrotizing fasciitis, the CDC writes that scrapes, burns, puncture wounds (as from a shot or IV), and even insect bites qualify as open wounds and are therefore risky.

Encounters with necrotizing fasciitis are very rare, but as Dr. Richard N. Bradley once told U.S. News & World Report, “the key thing to remember is that all water has bacteria in it, including sea water and chlorinated pool water. As hard as it can be to sit out when everyone else is having fun, the risk just isn’t worth it.”

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3 Comments On "Don't Go Swimming With an Open Wound"
  1. carol biederman|

    Just wondering when you use Hotspot Shield VPN, are you using it with a PC or a Mac. I’ve used so many VPNs with my Mac and I wouldn’t recommend any of them. Does your VPN sometimes (frequently) mess with your internet. I have that problem a lot and always have to restart my MacBook usually more than once. Any insight you could give me would be appreciated.

    1. Johnny Jet|

      I have a PC and haven’t had any problems that I can think of.

  2. Frederick Leiserson|

    I find it hard to believe that anybody would go swimming with an open would, but I’m the one who told you I drank ice in my soft drink from a motel ice machine that obviously wasn’t intended for human consumption so I’ll believe just about anything.

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