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Many types of bacteria are found in the human body. Most of the bacteria have a positive role to play. They help in augmenting the digestive system for full digestion of food and release of energy much needed by human body. However, some strains of bacteria have harmful effect and may be a cause of development of other infection. Escherichia coli or E coli is one such bacterium present in human and animal intestines. The function of these bacteria is to digest food and produce vitamin B complex and vitamin K, both being necessary for human growth and development.

If the same e coli bacteria, which has developed in the digestive track of another person is transmitted into another body, it develops into a strain which is harmful for the digestive system. It causes acute gastrointestinal problem and in some cases it can be fatal.

E coli is transmitted from one human to another through faecal matter. When children go swimming in public swimming pools, they often pass urine or stool in the pool. This causes spread of E coli bacteria. In clean water this bacteria can remain alive for a few hours. However in dirty water or in ponds it can remain alive much longer. When another human being enters the pool to take a dip, these bacteria enters his body through eyes, mouth or some other opening. Once in the human body these multiply rapidly and can cause disaster.

The spread of e coli can be prevented by putting on a swim diaper before the child is allowed to enter a public swimming pool. The instructor or life guard should ensure that no one enters the pool without proper swim diaper.

Swim diaper is made of material different from an ordinary diaper. An ordinary diaper is made with material which has absorbing qualities. It absorbs child excreta and it becomes soft and soggy and tends to leak when full. In case of swim diaper it is non- absorbing and has three elastic bands which ties the waist and legs and prevents anything from leaking out.

Swim diapers are available for one time use, reusable diapers are also available. Reusable diapers do save money but need proper care. As an added precaution, the child should wear tight rubber or ordinary swim suit over swim diaper. In case of leakage of faecal matter, the child should be taken out from the pool immediately and taken to the bathroom for change of diaper and clothes. Such diapers should not be reused.

In private swimming pool properly potty trained child wearing proper protective swim diapers should be allowed entry. Though these are not fully safe but they provide protection to some extent and something is better than nothing.