Study: Caregivers unaware of Cryptosporidium risk in pools

young girl swimmingMany caregivers are unaware of the risks of Cryptosporidium, a chlorine-resistant parasite found in pools.

Considered a recreational water illness (RWI), Cryptosporidium parvum has increased 300 percent in the last 10 years, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Even with this increase in prevalence, a new survey by Nielsen found caregivers lack knowledge about RWIs and how to handle them.

Key survey findings

  • Just half of respondents said they are aware of RWIs such as Crypto and Giardia.
  • Four in 10 caregivers inaccurately believe hand sanitizers kill Cryptosporidium and Giardia
  • More than one-third don’t know how their children catch the parasites
  • While 85 percent of caregivers know children shouldn’t go swimming or attend school while ill, nearly three quarters (74 percent) are confused about how long they should keep their sick children out of the pool. The CDC recommends keeping children out of the water for two weeks after symptoms have resolved.

Crypto can survive in chlorinated pools

“Parents often think chlorine will kill all bacteria and parasites, but Crypto can survive in chlorinated water and hand sanitizers may not eliminate all pathogens,” said Dr. Flor Munoz, a pediatric infectious disease doctor at Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children’s Hospital and a member of the survey advisory board. “The keys: washing hands with soap and water, showering before swimming, and making sure children don’t swim when sick.”

Hydroxyls kill Crypto

While chlorine does not effectively kill Crypto, hydroxyl radicals do. An independent study conducted by the University of Colorado found the Clear Comfort pool disinfection system achieves a greater than four log inactivation (greater than 99.99 percent) of Cryptosporidium in under 60 minutes of disinfection exposure time.

Learn more about how to better protect your family or patrons from Cryptosporidium.

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Lauren McNitt

Marketing Director at Clear Comfort
Lauren loves swimming during the summer and relaxing in a hot tub after skiing, but the harsh chemicals limit the time she can spend in a pool. She's excited to bring Clear Comfort to others who share her enjoyment of swimming. Lauren is the Director of Marketing for Clear Comfort.