The following blog post may give you a bit of the shivers or heebie jeebies, but we tell you this ahead of time in case you want to stop reading now. With that disclaimer out of the way, we want to discuss a topic that may make you second guess your pool activities this summer. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there has been an increase in parasites in pools and water parks across the country.
Parasites in Pools
The parasite is called cryptosporidium or crypto for short. And as gross as it sounds, it is spread through human feces; an outbreak that has caused at least 32 outbreaks in 24 states in the last year. The statistics are growing and the CDC expects the outbreaks to increase. When comparing cases from the 1990s to now, the reports increased from 1 in 100,000 to 4 in 100,000. This may not seem like much of an increase, but that means that an average of 8,000 people a year suffer from nausea, vomiting and stomach problems because they swallowed contaminated pool water.
While the general public relies on properly maintained pools and water parks, the parasite isn’t necessarily killed in chlorine or well-maintained areas. The parasite can live up to 10 days; even in well-treated pools.
Prevent Germs in Waterparks
So how do you avoid the parasites or can you avoid it?
The CDC suggests the following:
- Don’t swim when you have diarrhea and don’t let your kids swim when they have diarrhea.
- Don’t swallow any water while swimming – in pools or elsewhere.
- Shower before swimming.
- Give kids frequent bathroom breaks.
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As the number of cases have doubled in the past year, it is imperative for parents to teach their children about the dangers that pools and water parks can secretly hide. We consistently talk about safer swimming and this subject coincides with this discussion. The frightening part is that the CDC expects the parasite to become even stronger; meaning, it is much harder for a child to fight-off the bug.
While this subject makes us feel uneasy and disgusted, it is something that could and does affect our health. The last thing any of us ever want us to experience is something fun turn into an illness, or worse.