Today's News

Few parents take simple step to reduce water park infection risk (6/21)

June 21, 2011
/ Print / Reprints /
ShareMore
/ Text Size+


A new poll by University of Michigan researchers found that few parents make their children shower before using water parks – leaving them and other water park visitors at greater risk of getting infections from the water.

The U of M C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health asked parents of elementary school kids about their perceptions of water park risks and their opinions about basic water park rules. The sample included families who have taken their children to water parks within the past year.

“While 64 percent of parents feel it is very important for children to not swallow the water at a water park, only 26 percent of parents think it is very important to shower before getting in the water,” says Matthew Davis, M.D., director of the poll and associate professor in the Child Health Evaluation and Research Unit at the U-M Medical School. “Parents seem to understand the risk of contaminated water for their kids but few have their kids take the necessary preventive steps to keep everyone healthy.”

Water park-related infections are estimated to affect 10,000 people a year.

Most parents also may not appreciate their role in preventing recreational water infections, Davis says. While 65 percent of parents feel that preventing Recreational Water Illnesses (RWIs) is a shared responsibility between parents and water park staff, 28 percent of parents feel that water park staff alone is responsible.

“This poll shows that relatively few parents fully understand their role in preventing infections at water parks,” says Davis, who is also associate professor of public policy at the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy. “The ‘shower before entering’ rule posted at water parks nationwide isn’t meant to be optional. Showering is a simple and effective way to reduce the spread of germs, including some germs like Cryptosporidium that are not killed with conventional levels of chlorine. When parents let their kids play at a water park without showering, they may be raising the risk of infection for everyone.”

Parents perceive the risk of infections from water parks as lower than the risk of drowning, Davis adds. In fact, national data indicate that infections are more common than drowning each year.

Water park staff and parents can work together to prevent infections. Staff can follow state-of-the-art steps to managing risks of cryptosporidiosis, which include treating with high levels of chlorine intermittently and using ozone or ultra-violet treatment technologies. Parents can follow these easy steps:
  • Wash thoroughly with soap and water (especially for young children in the diaper region) before swimming.
  • Take children on bathroom breaks or check diapers often.
  • Remind children not to swallow the water and to avoid getting water in the mouth.
  • Do not swim when sick with diarrhea.

Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to ISHN.

You must login or register in order to post a comment.

STAY CONNECTED

Facebook logo Twitter YouTubeLinkedIn Google + icon

Multimedia

Videos

Image Galleries

ASSEâ??s Safety 2014 Review

A gallery of photos from the sprawling Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, where ASSE’s annual professional development conference was held June 8-11. All photos courtesy of the American Society of Safety Engineers.

6/26/14 2:00 pm EDT

Realizing ROI from Your Gas Detection Program

This presentation will cover why a safe workplace equates to good business, why keeping workers truly safe from hazardous gases requires a complete gas detection program, and how your investment can ensure an ROI to your overall business.

ISHN Magazine

ISHN0714_cover.jpg

2014 July

In this month's issue of ISHN, check out the top training companies and find out who the winners of the ISHN/ASSE Safety 2014 awards are.

Table Of Contents Subscribe

THE ISHN STORE

M:\General Shared\__AEC Store Katie Z\AEC Store\Images\ISHN\safetyfourth.jpg
Safety Engineering, 4th Edition

A practical, solutions-driven reference, Safety Engineering, 4th edition, has been completely revised and updated to reflect many of today’s issues in safety.

More Products

For Distributors Only - May 2014

ISHN0514FDO_cover.jpgFor Distributors Only is ISHN's niche brand standard-sized magazine supplement aimed at an audience of 2,000 U.S. distributors that sell safety products. Circulation only goes to distributors. CHECK OUT THEMAY 2014 ISSUE OF FDO HERE

ishn infographics

2012 US workplace deathsCheck out ISHN's new Infographic page! Learn more about worker safety through these interactive images. CLICK HERE to view the page.