Arizona doctors warn against letting kids play in floodwater

Know the dangers of bacteria that lurk in that water
It’s a natural reaction for Arizona kids to want to play in remaining rainwater, but doctors warn against it.
Published: Sep. 25, 2019 at 8:25 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - It’s a natural reaction for Arizona kids to want to play in remaining rainwater, but doctors warn against it.

Frank LoVecchio, a toxicologist with Banner Poison and Drug Information Center at Banner Health, advises parents not to let their kids play in that water, according to a report from AZ Family.

“I look at it and see the water, 'Oh my God, there’s bacteria in there,” he said in a conversation with an AZ Family reporter.

The water can be filled with mosquito-borne illnesses and much more.

"When we have lots of water come down, it goes into our sewers and then our sewers overflow. So, anything that you flushed the night before is in that water today," LoVecchio explained.

The water could contain anything from urine to feces, to cleaning products or hazardous waste. And that’s exactly what kids could be splashing around in.

"If some water goes into your mouth, just a little bit of bacteria can cause hepatitis A, cholera, clostridium -- all of these bad bacteria. And some bacteria can kill you," he said.

Kids are especially vulnerable.

“I get a little upset when I see kids playing in the neighborhood and playing in the water, and I see it just kind of flowed from someplace else,” LoVecchio told AZ Family.

Parents should caution their children from running barefoot through floodwater. If they have a cut or open wound, the bacteria found in the water can cause a severe infection.

“You get nausea, vomiting, diarrhea as you try to go back to your normal state,” said LoVecchio.

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