By Karin McCay| email
Edited by Kristin Beerman | email
LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) – You'd think pool water is safe because chlorine kills all the germs and that's the idea, but chlorine isn't instant. It takes time to kill the bugs and if those bugs come from a bathroom accident, it could take days before that pool water is safe again.
"The chlorine can kill some germs, but there are other germs such as e-coli or cryptosporidium, that we're really concerned with in the summertime, that takes a lot longer," said Maranda Cherry, an Environmental Health Specialist with the Lubbock Health Department. "It can take up to 6.7 days, according to the CDC to actually get rid of the cryptosporidium parasite."
That parasite, cryptosporidium, is what causes diarrhea, which is why the CDC has strict guidelines on keeping that bug and others out of pool water and a lot of it depends on the parent or babysitter who takes a child to the pool.
The CDC says with babies and toddlers use swimmer type diapers and no swimming for up to two weeks after a bout of diarrhea because it could still be contagious in the water. They also say to shower with soap before getting in, or the chlorine is wasted on cleaning the swimmer, instead of the pool water and insists on frequent bathroom breaks, because kids will say "I don't have to go".
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