children's health

Heading To The Beach? Don’t Let The Kids Drink The Water

As the Memorial Day weekend approaches, the U.S. Congress considers legislation to make beach closure and swimming advisories more accurate.

New research shows that children age 10 or younger experienced higher rates of gastrointestinal illness – diarrhea, vomiting or nausea – after playing in water with measurable amounts of bacteria indicating the presence of human or animal fecal matter.

The study did not identify why young swimmers experienced more illness, but researchers speculate that it could be because children tend to spend more time in the water and may be more likely to swallow water or get it in their mouths while playing.

New procedures have been put in place to test beach water for contamination and to detect sewage and human feces in as little as two hours, allowing authorities to issue public health alerts more quickly than in the past.


Hopefully, beach managers will be able to close beaches that have a high contamination risk so that young families aren’t exposed to the illness causing bacteria.

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About the author

Lisa Arneill

SAHM of 2 boys and founder of GrowingYourBaby.com, World Traveled Family and The World We Share. When I’m not running around after my boys, I’m looking for our next vacation spot!

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