Summer is here and it's time to jump in the lake, cool off and swim from sunrise to sunset, right? Well, yes but in some cases you need to look before you jump. This warning is for you, your family and your dogs when it comes to swimming in New York lakes, ponds, rivers and streams.

If you see a blueish-green algae on the surface of the water beware! There could be toxins and other harmful compounds that can pose a threat to your health and your pets. Avoid ingestion, skin contact or inhalation.

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According to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) When it gets hot, like it has been, New Yorkers, tourists and pets need to be on the lookout for Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs), which multiply rapidly in warmer conditions.

When it comes to your pets, HABs cells can stick to animal fur. Rinse your pet with clean water. Contact a veterinarian immediately if your pet shows signs of disorientation, depression, difficulty breathing, paralysis or excessive drooling or salivation, especially within 30 minutes of exposure.

518 news, NYSDEC Warning, HABs in New York lakes, Lake George, Lake Placid. Thousand Islands
Photo by Kelsey Todd on Unsplash

Should you make contact with HABs:

  • Get out of the water
  • Rinse with clean water
  • Seek medical attention immediately is you experience vomiting, diarrhea, breathing difficulty or skin, eye or throat irritation

Don't let children or pets wade, drink the water, or walk in beach debris if you suspect an algae bloom is present. The best advice is "Know it, Avoid it, Report it." Following this advice will greatly reduce the likelihood of exposure to HABs. - NYSDEC

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