Germ spinner: are ball pools for children a health risk?

Germ spinner: are ball pools for children a health risk?

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Ball pools are heavily contaminated with dangerous bacteria

Small children especially like to play in a so-called ball pit. However, researchers have now warned that such ball-filled baths are often contaminated with germs and dirt, which can lead to serious health risks for children.

The current study by the University of North Georgia confirmed the conviction of many parents that ball pools, which are typically also used in pediatric physiotherapy, often contain a lot of dirt and germs that make our children sick. The results of the study were published in the American Journal of Infection Control.

Many parents are not aware of the danger of ball baths for their children

Parents generally try to keep their children away from possible health risks. However, it is not known to everyone that many ball baths contain pathogenic bacteria. Parents should be aware of this danger when letting their children play between balls.

All balls examined had a large number of bacteria

For their study, the researchers at the University of North Georgia examined a total of six different ball pools in inpatient or outpatient physiotherapy clinics in Georgia. From the individual baths, nine to 15 balls were taken at random from different depths for an examination. A large number of bacteria were then found on all balls, which leads to an increased risk of infection or illness.

There were differences in the level of contamination

Significant differences in the number of microorganisms between the different samples of balls were found, report the authors of the study. This suggests that clinics use different protocols for cleaning and maintenance. The researchers add that there is a need to clarify and set standards that can reduce the risk of transmission.

What diseases can be caused by contaminated balls?

The contamination that occurs can have a negative impact on the health of the children playing in the balls. Some of the bacteria found on the balls can cause uncomfortable diseases such as meningitis, urinary tract infection, sepsis and pneumonia. Facilities with a ball pit for children should definitely have a standardized program for regular cleaning in order to limit the risk of infection, the researchers demand. (as)

Author and source information

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