Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Tips to stay healthy in the water

Oxford County Public Health and Emergency Services is asking local residents as part of its yearly prevention campaign on recreational water illness to stay healthy in the water by not swimming when they are ill with diarrhea.

According to public health, it takes only trace amounts of fecal matter to make others sick and some of the germs can survive for days, even in swimming pools with good filtration and disinfection systems.
One of the most common parasites Cryptosporidium can survive up to eleven days in a chlorinated swimming pool.

According to public health swallowing water contaminated with feces is still a leading cause of recreational water illness because germs from stool can easily contaminate the water in a large pool or water park.
“Children love visiting the beach, pools and water parks in the summer, but children are also one of the groups most vulnerable to recreational water illness because their immune systems are maturing and they are more likely to swallow water,” said Peter Heywood, Oxford public health program supervisor.

Public health’s campaign features “Swimming and diarrhea don’t mix” and “Wash your baby” posters at public pools to remind people to stay out of the pool if they have diarrhea and to wash babies thoroughly before swimming.

“Even if you think you’re well enough to swim, to help protect everyone’s health, we’re asking people to wait until they know their diarrhea has completely subsided before stepping foot in a public swimming area,” Heywood said.

Swimmers can also protect themselves by using the showers at public pools to rinse off before swimming, washing their hands after using the bathroom or changing a diaper, taking children on bathroom breaks and changing swimming diapers often and avoid swallowing pool or beach water.

Recreational water illnesses can cause skin, ear, respiratory, eye and wound infections, and are responsible for more serious health complications in children, pregnant women and people with weakened immune systems.

Public health’s said their role in helping to prevent recreational water illness includes inspecting pools and splash pads in the community to ensure health procedures are followed.

Public Health also samples beach water weekly from mid-May to Labour Day to check bacteria levels. Area beaches with high levels of bacteria are posted on site as not safe for swimming. Beach water updates are available online at or by phone by dialing 2-1-1.


Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The Best Golfers Never to Win the U.S. Open: A Fan's Take

Many great golfers have claimed the United States Open title. On Father's Day a new champion will be crowned at the 112th U.S. Open at the Olympic Club in San Francisco, California. Yet there are many great golfers throughout history that have never had their name engraved on the trophy. As always lists are quite subjective by their very nature. That being said here is my list of the greatest players (in alphabetical order) never to claim the United States Open Championship. 

Seve Ballesteros
Spanish golfing legend Seve Ballesteros won five major championships in his career. Arguably one of the greatest players that continental Europe has yet produced, Ballesteros claimed three British Open titles and two green jackets. In addition to his success in the United States Ballesteros won 50 titles, including his major wins, on the European Tour. This remains the European Tour record. Ballesteros' best U.S. Open finish came in 1987 when he placed third. 

Nick Faldo
Englishman Sir Nick Faldo claimed six major championships in his career but never the United States Open championship. Faldo also enjoyed substantial success of the European tour claiming 30 victories. Faldo's best U.S. Open finish was second place in 1988. 

Bobby Locke
Bobby Locke was one of the great golfers in history and yet many American fans likely know little about him. Locke is most well-known for winning four British Open titles and for being one the greatest if not the greatest putter that ever lived. Locke's famous quote, "drive for show, putt for dough" is known by most every golfer. A native of South Africa, Locke was also the first great golfer that was neither British nor American. In only six U.S. Open appearances, Locke recorded five Top Five finishes. 

Phil Mickelson
It is difficult to place Phil Mickelson on this list because his career is not complete. Yet I think his career to this point warrants his inclusion. Phil Mickelson has won four career major championships; three Masters titles and a victory at the 2005 PGA Championship. In total Mickelson has 40 career PGA Tour titles which places him in the Top 10 all-time. While he cannot lay claim to being the greatest player of his generation, he is certainly no worse than number two. He has had many chances to hoist the U.S. Open trophy yet he is been relegated to runner-up status five times. Unfortunately for Phil his time to claim the U.S. Open title is running short. 

Sam Snead
Sam Snead was a legendary figure in the world of golf. He won seven major championships in his illustrious career. In all Snead won 82 career PGA Tour titles. That is still a record that stands to this day. It's not that Sam Snead did not have some success at the U.S. Open because he certainly did. Snead finished as the runner-up to the U.S. Open champion four times in his career.