Study looks at germs lurking in ball pits

Ball pits keep kids occupied, but they also deliver a healthy dose of germs and bacteria.

A recent study of ball pits in medical clinics found bacteria similar to those in other common play areas. But ball pits in restaurants or parks may be even germier.

Whatever the location, germ experts recommend common-sense practices.

"Washing your hands before and after jumping in to a ball pit. Understanding that they will get exposed to germs in a ball pit, just like they would be exposed to germs at any playground facility, and that it's okay," said Dr. Frank Esper, Cleveland Clinic Children's.

Doctors say kids with compromised immune systems, open wounds, or those taking medication which lowers their infection-fighting ability should steer clear of ball pits.
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