GRIC Splash Pad Awareness

May 4, 2018


Tribal Health Department

Gila River Indian Community


As the temperatures rise and summer nears, the Tribal Health Department Community Health Education (CHE) Program wants Community members to be safe while attending splash pads, interactive fountains, pools and spray parks. Although, there may be chlorine in these water systems, this treatment does not kill all germs instantly, which gives some germs an opportunity to cause illness. Swallowing water from these water play areas might cause adults and children to become ill.


Swallowing water containing germs such as Cryptosporidium (crypto), which enter the water through the poop of an infected person or animal, can make you sick with watery diarrhea and other symptoms such as dehydration, loss of appetite, stomach cramps or pain, fever, nausea and vomiting. Symptoms may begin anywhere between two and ten days after becoming infected, usually within seven days on average. Crypto symptoms generally last one to two weeks in people with healthy immune systems, but could last up to 4 weeks. In some cases, the symptoms may go in cycles in which you seem to get better for a few days, then feel worse again before the illness ends.


Cryptosporidium infection and diagnosis is performed by a doctor who identifies cryptosporidium under a microscope through a stool sample. Treatment for cryptosporidiosis includes; drinking plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration, maintaining a well balanced diet, and over the counter medications to treat symptoms. In severe cases, anti-parasitic medications such as Nitazoxanide could be prescribed by a doctor, to also help alleviate diarrhea.


Although people may ingest water with cryptosporidium, they may not get sick at all or they may get infected but show no symptoms. In order to decrease the chance of getting cryptosporidiosis, please stay out of the water if you or your children have diarrhea. If you will be swimming or in the water for a long period of time, take bathroom breaks every hour.


Check and change diapers away from the water. Remind your children to not put water in their mouth or drink it and keep spongy water toys and hands out of their mouth. Finally do not sit or squat on or over the water jets. If you have any questions or concerns, please call the GRIC Tribal Health Department at (520) 562-5100.