Swim diapers may not keep pool water clean, UF experts say

Swim diapers may not keep pool water clean, UF experts say

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Swimming is good, clean summer fun for small children—but University of Florida experts caution that swim won’t necessarily keep the water clean, and that could spell trouble if sick kids go in the pool.

A common illness called Norovirus infection can cause vomiting, abdominal . And for children suffering from such an infection that last symptom can render swim diapers ineffective, said Fred Southwick, a professor and chief of the at UF’s College of Medicine.

are shed in bodily fluids, and if released into a pool could be transmitted to other children if they ingest water or even touch their mouths with wet hands, he said. Swim diapers are designed to hold solid waste but may not stop diarrhea from leaking out.

“I would not count on the supposedly watertight diapers because I don’t think they’re really that effective,” Southwick said.

U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention officials say no swim diapers are leakproof and that no manufacturer claims its products prevent diarrhea leakage. CDC devoted a page to the topic: http://www.cdc.gov/healthyswimming/swim_diapers.htm.

Children with diarrhea shouldn’t be allowed in pools, regardless of their swimwear, Southwick said.

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About Norovirus

    Noroviruses are highly contagious and are transmitted via the faeces and vomit of infected people, either through direct contact or throught contaminated objects or via food and water. The incubation period is one to three days.

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