With summer officially here, families tend to go on more family-oriented trips, such as to the zoo, beaches, community swimming pools, amusement parks, and water parks. While these trips are fun for the entire family, there are definitely several things to keep in mind so that families stay safe and injury-free. One of the key things to keep an eye out for this summer is water-borne illnesses that come from contaminated pools.
What are Waterborne Illnesses?
Waterborne illnesses are illnesses that are caused by bacteria, fungi, or parasites that contaminate pool or drinking water. Because microorganisms thrive in moist and warm environments, contamination and spread of their species tend to be more abundant during the summer. Some waterborne illnesses can cause severe symptoms while others can be life threatening.
Common waterborne microorganisms include Vibrio cholerae that causes cholera and Cryptosporidium that causes cryptosporidiosis. While Vibrio cholerea is relatively rare in industrial countries, it may become an issue if you are planning a tropical overseas trip. However, it is Cryptosporidium, often called Crypto, that is a common problem. The Center of Disease Control names Crypto as the leading cause of illnesses caused by waterborne microorganisms.
Montana Water Park Warns Customers
During the busy weekend following the Fourth of July, Big Sky Waterpark, Montana’s largest waterpark located in the Rockies, issued a warning to remind guests that recreational pools are the most common ways to come in contact with the Crypto parasite.
While Big Sky Waterpark sterilizes its water and closely monitors its ten water slides and whirlpool, guests should also take proper precautions for young family members. Crypto is a resilient parasite that is protected by a spore that forms around its entire body keeping it safe from harsh chemicals, even chlorine. Anyone who has had diarrhea or vomited in the last two weeks should not enter the water. Babies are required to wear swim diapers. And guests are strongly encouraged to shower before and after pool use.
Roger Elliot, general manager of Big Sky Waterpark, noted that there had never been a Crypto outbreak at Big Sky Waterpark due to the park’s diligence in keeping its guests safe and informed.
Big Sky Waterpark is one of more than a dozen waterparks that have been warning their guests of microscopic parasites this week. With waterparks rising as a major kid destination during the summer months, it is important to remember that following safety guidelines can keep the family safe while having a great time.