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Why does my child break out in hives after visiting a spray park?

Why does my child break out in hives after visiting a spray park?

A KFOX14 viewer named Teresa complained that on two separate occasions she took her children to the splash pad at Sue Young Park in Northeast El Paso and one or the other broke out in hives within hours of visiting the water park.

She wanted to know whether the cleaning chemicals used at local spray parks are regulated and whether they could cause rashes.

The chemicals used to keep local water parks clean are regulated. The main cleaning chemical is chlorine, the same substance that's used in swimming pools and in public water supplies to kill potentially deadly pathogens like E. coli.

Each city spray park is designed to automatically shut down if there's a malfunction in the cleaning and filtration system, or the water chemistry is not properly balanced.

The Parks and Recreation Department says it gets an automatic alert sent by text and email when that happens.

Our sister station, CBS4, last month investigated the water quality at three El Paso water parks, including Sue Young and the water samples from all the parks came back negative for E. coli and coliform bacteria.

A Parks Department spokesman told me that in addition to putting chlorine into the water, ultraviolet light rays are used to further purify the water.

He said the department was not aware of any complaints about the cleaning chemicals causing rashes.

But chlorine is known to cause rashes and the condition is commonly called a “chlorine rash.”

It can cause dry, itchy skin and hives in people with a sensitivity to the chemical and who spend a lot of time in chlorinated water.

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