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Filthy ball pits are posing horrifying heath risks to children, research claims; Kids can hurtle themselves around without getting hurt and mums and dads can slow down and enjoy a cuppa.

Byline: James Rodger

Soft play centres are the answer to many parents' prayers.

Kids can hurtle themselves around without getting hurt and mums and dads can slow down and enjoy a cuppa.

One of the most popular soft play areas is the colourful ball pit.

However a recent study suggests that rather than being a safe place for children, ball pits should be treated by parents as potential danger zones due to the horrifying health risks.

The study published in the American Journal of Infection Control, examined six different ball pits and found more than 31 different kinds of bacteria, The Mirror reports.

The dirtiest ball pit contained an average of 170,818 bacteria per ball, while another had 712,000 microorganism cells. Shockingly, the types of bacteria found at the ball pits were linked to bladder infections and infections of the heart lining.

Researchers from the University of North Georgia carried out the study.

They found bugs including Enterococcus faecalis, Staphylocccus hominis, Streptococcus oralis, and Acinetobacter Iwofii.

They can be the cause of sepsis meningitis, bloodstream infections, skin infections and pneumonia. Researchers also discovered a yeast that can cause fungal infections in people with weak immune systems.

Ball pits poll

Bacteria normally associated with plants, dirt, water and certain foods were also found.

These can cause blood and skin infections and eye infections in babies. As well as in soft play, ball pits are often used to help develop children's motor and sensory skills.

The study, which was published in the American Journal of Infection Control, looked at ball pits in physical therapy centres in the US.

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Ball pits are fun for kids

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Publication:Coventry Telegraph (Coventry, England)
Date:Apr 29, 2019
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