As the summer gets underway, most families look forward to a day at the waterpark.
There is no greater way to bond with your kids than yelling in chorus all the way down the slide, eating endless treats, and slurping gallons of half-melted ice cream.
There are 1,300 water parks in the USA. According to the World Waterpark Association, the number of visitors was a whopping 85 million people in 2015.
Though they are good fun, they are not always safe.
Thousands of bodies, sweat, summer heat, and warm water are the perfect brew for pathogens to spread.
Here, we examine the safety aspect in detail.
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Risks to Know Before You Dive into the Deep End
1. Chlorine poisoning is common
Chlorine is the disinfectant of choice at water parks. It works well to keep bacteria at bay.
However, too much exposure to chlorine can cause severe sickness. It is quite possible to land up at the ER with severe health issues.
Chlorine in the pool can induce:
- Severe vomiting
- Coughing and itching of the respiratory tract
- Rashes on skin
- Dizziness and tremors
- Burning eyes and watering
In 2018, 12 children and seven adults had to be hospitalized after inhaling chlorine fumes at a swimming school in Ventura County in California.
Of course, the ailment is treatable. With good care, patients can go home in 72 hours. But, that is hardly the desired outcome when having fun in the summertime.
2. Waterslides are bad for your back
Looking at them, you won’t believe they can be so dangerous. Though waterslides are an exciting activity for people of all ages, injuries are quite common. In 2014, a report claimed that they caused more injuries than roller coasters.
Another report a few years back stated that waterslides are responsible for 4,200 ER visits every year. The complaints ranged from broken bones to concussions.
If you want to make a splash, we advise you to exercise utmost caution. In case you have a history of back pain, dislocated discs, and sciatica, consider not going down the slide. Pregnant women should also avoid these water park attractions.
Always abide by what the lifeguards tell you to do. Taking a risk is not worth it if a few seconds of thrill keeps you confined in bed for a week.
3. Urine and feces in the pool
This is a disgusting fact that is hard to believe, but it is quite common. Numerous water park attendants have confessed that they have witnessed it.
Scientists in Canada have found that a 220,000-gallon pool contains 20 gallons of urine.
Not only do you not want someone else’s waste floating around you, but dangerous ailments like E.coli are also transmitted this way.
E.coli is a pervasive and pesky disease caused by bacteria. A strict regimen of antibiotics brings it under control. The onset produces fever, stomach cramps, and severe diarrhea.
Also, the disease is easily transmissible to any family member who shares the same toilet.
Tips to Stay Safe and Enjoy
We don’t want to seem all negative. Go ahead and visit the water park this summer, but heed the advice we provide.
1. Kids will be kids
Of course, you cannot rein in their enthusiasm. They are young and don’t care about bacteria. Stories of bruised bones won’t scare them either.
Make sure that you are close, and try not to let them out of sight. If they are traveling with another family, make certain that it is someone responsible.
2. Teach them to swim
Drowning may occur in as little as four feet of water, but that does not make swimming any less valuable.
If you take your kids to the water park, make sure that they know how to swim.
You could teach them yourself, but it’s better if they are taught by a certified coach. The technique is all-important, and proper training ensures that. It takes at most a month to acquire, and swimming lessons are not typically very expensive.
3. Floatation devices are not foolproof
Floaties that are used in pools and parks are not full-fledged life vests used by the Coast Guard. Floaties are small plastic balloons that anchor up each shoulder. They can get pierced and malfunction.
It’s good to slip one on your kid, but that does not mean you get time off where you do not have to pay attention to your child.
Drowning can happen silently, so it is extremely important to keep an eye on your children.
4. Lifeguards might not be attentive
Lifeguards do save a lot of lives, but drownings are all too familiar. A water park is pretty chaotic most of the day. There is only so much that a couple of lifeguards can do to keep a hundred kids safe.
5. Get them to have a bath afterward
Regardless of how much your kids complain, get them to take a bath. If you got into the pool, you should take one as well. Scrub down with strong soap that has antifungals such as Solpri or Battleskin.
6. Keep them hydrated
The sun causes dehydration in summer. You have to keep yourself and your kids hydrated constantly. Otherwise, they are at risk of fainting from all the activity. Since the water keeps the body cool, there are no usual telltale signs of dehydration when at a water park.
Insurance Brings Peace of Mind
A water park is a place for unending enjoyment. But, as the article shows, it might also cause illness.
When it comes to health, it is not acceptable that you settle for the second-best line of treatment.
To mitigate this risk, buy travel medical insurance or travel insurance and enjoy peace of mind.
Insubuy offers fantastic policies at very affordable rates. You can easily compare the policies side-by-side and buy the one you want with a click.
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Pools are slippery. It is important to walk and not run, as a slip and fall can be painful.
An hour in the pool causes the body to burn about 300 calories. It’s quite a workout to thrash around in the water. It is important to periodically eat high-calorie snacks to keep up with the pace.
Put on high SPF sunscreen and reapply every few hours.
None of these hazards should prevent you from having a lot of fun. Just be cautious so that you can enjoy a wonderful summer at the water park with your family.
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