Indoor Playgrounds: Are Your Kids Playing in Poop?

You've always known they weren't exactly white-glove clean. Now there's proof.

Last winter, I spent more time than I’d like to admit thanking the corporate gods for creating the fast food indoor playground. After two hours of watching my boys burn off some of their seemingly endless energy, all I could think was, “I’m lovin’ it.” That is, until I read how some OCD mom swabbed several playgrounds around the country and submitted the samples to a lab to be tested. Her findings? Most of them contained fecal matter. In other words, my kids were probably playing in poop. 

Now, before we all freak out, this was a very small study done by one mom (who paid for the swab samples herself), but she’s basically just proving what we all suspected deep down and tried to ignore. (I mean, I had two hours to read a magazine while my kids played! Poop? What poop?). While I appreciate the motives behind this study (she just wants the companies that house these dirty breeding grounds to clean up their act) I did kind of like being blissfully ignorant.

While this new information may give me pause next time I visit one of these places, honestly, what isn’t dirty? I just potty trained my youngest -- meaning there's probably fecal matter all over my house! What about your own kids' playrooms? How often do those really get scrubbed?

Unless I put my kids in a bubble, they're going to come in contact with germs everywhere they go, on everything they touch. So how you handle this news is up to you. You can avoid skeevy places and bathe your kids in sanitizer, but sooner or later, they're going to get dirty. So think about their immunity. What doesn’t hurt them, only makes them stronger. Right?

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