Sandy Beach Water Parks re-opens after contamination sent kids to hospital
MACON, Georgia (41NBC/ WMGT) – Sandy Beach Park is open again after being temporarily closed this weekend. This comes after some parents posted complaints on Facebook that the water was contaminated and caused their children to be sent to the hospital.
“When she got in the car, her eyes were puffy and red,” Landorus Rainey said as he describes his 7-year-old daughter, Laiden Rainey, after they returned home from the water park Saturday. “So as a father I’m thinking when I go swimming my eyes get red. It was from the chlorine, the water.”
That wasn’t the case for Laiden.
“When I got home, she [was] just constantly crying. Crying her eyes hurt, so I [took] her down to the Macon Coliseum Hospital,” he said.
When Rainey took his daughter to the E.R, test results came back saying Laiden had cornea abrasions. Doctors say Laiden couldn’t wait to see a optimologist until Monday, so they sent the Rainey’s to a hospital in Atlanta.
That’s where doctors diagnosed Laiden with Chemical Conjunctivitis. In simpler terms, chemical burns.
As she heals, Laiden has bacterial cream and eye drops.
“She can’t see sunlight for 72 hours,” Rainey said.
With multiple reports of burns, Sandy Beach Water Park closed Saturday evening until Monday afternoon.
“When we look at chlorine levels, we’re looking at free chlorine. Free chlorine is like the work force. That’s what takes care of the stuff in the pool that you don’t want in there. Ideally, if the free chlorine levels are where they should be you wouldn’t get eye irritations or skin irritations,” North Central Health District Environmental Health Director Carla Coley said.
Bather load chemicals in a pool can change dramatically depending on weather. Sometimes they can change hour by hour.
To help wash away some of the potential chemical influxion:
“Deck showers, those are there so you can rinse off to get rid of any perfumes, perspiration, deodorant, or sweat. All of those things can eat up the free chlorine in a pool,” Coley said.
Some side effects of high chemical levels are eye and skin irritation, and sometimes ear infections.
41NBC tried to reach out to officials at Sandy Beach Water Park, but have not heard back. Also Rainey says he hasn’t gotten a response from them.
Coley says if your child was affected, you can send paperwork from your doctor. That way, they can see if there’s any correlation and better pinpoint what may have went wrong.
To submit paperwork, you can call North Central Health District’s Environmental Health Department at (478)749-0106 and ask for either James Boecke or Donna Cadwell.