I have been swimming in lakes my whole life and I was very surprised to hear about these risks. I always knew I had to be careful of animals that live in the lake and not to swallow too much water, but more in fear of drowning than lake pathogens. However I did not know that there is quick sand and rip currents (undertow) in lakes in Canada. I also never knew that there was a risk with zebra mussels for swimmers.
This article tells you how to avoid these five risks when swimming in Canadian lakes. The first risk to avoid is lake pathogens. Lake pathogens are little bacteria that live in lakes such as E. coli. If you digest lake pathogens some symptoms are diarrhea, vomiting, fever and stomach cramps. To avoid lake pathogens try to stay away from dirty or stagnant water and always shower after swimming in a lake. The second risk is quick sand. When you get stuck in quick sand try not to squirm around or you will sink further into the sand. To get out of it move your body weight sideways and hold on the something solid outside of the quick sand. The third risk is otter attacks. To avoid attacks try to stay away from where the otters like to hang out, especially in the spring when they have their pups. The fourth risk is zebra mussels. They are a risk because their shells are very sharp and can cut swimmers feet. They are also a risk if you live close to a lake because the can clog water pipes and they are very invasive. The last risk is rip currents, also known as an undertow. If you get pulled out by the undertow don’t panic! Stay calm and swim perpendicular to the shore. Also try not to swim near piers because rip currents often form there.
This article told me that I defiantly need to be more careful when I swim in lakes. Especially lakes I am not used to swimming in.
Samantha Sexton, "How
to avoid 5 surprising risks of swimming in Canadian lakes", cottage life