Are Swim Diapers Effective in Keeping Contamination Out of Public Pools?

Swim diapers are referred to by many as "Fecal Tea Bags."


Ever wonder exactly what the point of a swim diaper really is? I mean if a child has an accident in the swim diaper doesn’t the pool water run through the diaper anyway? With small kids I honestly will admit I have wondered what exactly a plastic diaper actually accomplishes other than keeping solid fecal material out of the pool. Swim diapers are actually commonly referred to as “Fecal Tea Bags."

Did you know the CDC (Center for Disease Control) adopted a “Vessel Sanitation Program” which prohibits children in diapers that are not toilet trained from using public pools on cruise ships? The CDC determined that swim diapers are not effective in preventing contamination of public swimming water with infection-causing germs. Swim diapers may prevent solid waste from escaping; however they do not prevent leakage of urine or diarrhea.  

The CDC recommends that parents keep swimmers out of the water if they suspect diarrhea to avoid contamination. Swimmers who are sick with diarrhea or who have been sick in the last two weeks risk contaminating swimming water with germs. Even in a well-maintained pool these germs may live for minutes or days in the water.

So Patch readers, the question for you is this, should children who are not potty trained be required to wear swim diapers? What rules and regulations are in effect at your pool regarding this issue? Do you avoid pools for any germ related reasons? Tell us in the comment section below!

Lisa davis granger May 16, 2012 at 08:39 PM
i want my own pool now......
Brian Crawford May 16, 2012 at 08:48 PM
I see nothing wrong with barring children who aren't potty trained. That's just common sense.
Deanna Allen May 16, 2012 at 09:10 PM
I do, too ...
Kristi Palmer May 17, 2012 at 12:30 AM
Hey Brian, I see where you are coming from with that however what I learned about that was anti-discrimination laws prohibit discrimination based on age so you have to be real careful from that angle.
Brian Crawford May 17, 2012 at 01:54 AM
Maybe, but I'm pretty sure age discrimination laws don't apply to little swimmers, or Depends wearing swimmers either for that matter, it's a public safety issue. Remember the kid who got e-coli at White Water a few years back?


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