Each year, millions of people visit water parks across the United States. Water parks offer a great way to cool off and adventure with friends. Unfortunately, they can also be a great way to contract an illness or become injured if the park is not properly cared for.
What to Look Out for at Water Parks
Before you visit a water park this summer, here is what you need to look for to keep your family healthy and safe:
The next time you get into a pool and notice that signature chlorine smell, remember this. The smell is the result of trichloramine and cyanogen chloride – two toxic chemicals created when nitrogen in urine mixes with chlorinated water. These toxic chemicals, in large concentrations, can be harmful to the lungs.
The thought of swimming in fecal matter is hardly appetizing, but it is a risk, nonetheless. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has estimated that about 58 percent of pool filters test positive for fecal matter and E. coli. Contamination may be due to children who don’t make it to the bathroom, or residue from swimmers not showering off before getting into the pool.
Bacteria and Viruses
There are many types of bacteria and viruses that can be transmitted through contact with contaminated water. Norovirus is one of the more common infections that water park visitors encounter. The gastrointestinal illness can spread quickly and easily in water.
Naturally, if you are at a water park, you expect there to be water. However, water parks must follow safety guidelines for equipment, surfaces, and play areas. These areas must be kept free of hazards, and must be properly maintained and inspected to ensure they are safe.
Be Smart at the Water Park
When it comes to visiting any public place, you only have so much control over the environment and who is present. There are certain risks of visiting a water park, but that doesn’t mean you have to stay away. Be smart and take precautions to keep your family safe. Practice good hygiene, change diapers in designated areas, and avoid consuming water.