iStock ballpit

Ball pits are colorful, fun and … crawling with germs, according to a study published late last month in the American Journal of Infection Control.

To conduct the study, researchers with the University of North Georgia looked at six different ball pits used in children’s physical therapy facilities. There, the pits are used to “provide stimulation to children with sensory or motor impairments,” per a news release on the findings.

At each ball pit location, researchers collected nine to 15 balls from different depths. By the end, they found “considerable microbial colonization in ball pits that were tested, including eight bacteria and one yeast that could cause disease,” researchers said.

“Bacterial colonization was found to be as high as thousands of cells per ball, clearly demonstrating an increased potential for transmission of these organisms to patients and an increased possibility of infection,” they added.

In total, 31 different bacterial species and one yeast species were found in the ball pits. More specifically, researchers determined Enterococcus faecalis, Staphylococcus hominis, Streptococcus oralis and Acinetobacter lwofii were present — all of which are “human-associated” bacteria that can cause nasty infectionsContinue Reading


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