Chil­dren sick­ened dur­ing swim­ming lessons

China Daily (USA) - - CHINA - By ZHOU HUIYING and TIAN XUEFEI in Harbin Con­tact the writ­ers at zhouhuiy­ing@chi­

Since the be­gin­ning of Au­gust, nearly 300 chil­dren have suf­fered high fevers and eye in­flam­ma­tion after swim­ming lessons at a club in­Harbin, Hei­longjiang prov­ince.

On Au­gustWed­nes­day,24, the Feiyu Swim­ming Club, af­fil­i­ated with theHarbin Sports Train­ing Cen­ter, con­vened a par­ents’ con­fer­ence and ac­knowl­edged that the stu­dents’ symp­toms had some­thing to do with the wa­ter qual­ity intheswim­ming­pool.

“We have set up an of­fice for com­pen­sa­tion. Par­ents can reg­is­ter in­for­ma­tion about chil­dren­whofell ill and pro­vide re­ceipts for med­i­cal treat­ment,” said SunWeimin, deputy di­rec­tor of the cen­ter. “We will pay com­pen­sa­tion and prom­ise to take re­spon­si­bil­ity for any re­lated health prob­lems that come up later.”

“I’ma swim­ming en­thu­si­ast and­have­beenus­ingth­e­cen­ter for­manyyears. The­con­di­tions here are good, and I have never ex­pe­ri­enced any dis­com­fort,” said Xu Li, a 40-year-old mother. “So when my 7-yearold daugh­ter showed an in­ter­est in swim­ming, I chose this club with­out hes­i­ta­tion.”

She noted that the cen­ter is a pro­fes­sional train­ing or­ga­ni­za­tion for swim­mers and ex­pressed hope that her daugh­ter “will do some­thing in swim­ming in the fu­ture.”

Only eight lessons after she signed up for swim­ming lessons on Aug 4, her daugh­ter de­vel­oped a se­ri­ous case of con­junc­tivi­tis, aneye­in­fec­tion, along with a throat in­flam­ma­tion with high fever, Xu said.

“Be­cause the fever is per­sis­tent, my daugh­ter had to be hos­pi­tal­ized for a week, which cost us more than 7,000 yuan ($1,052),” Xu said. “She was di­ag­nosed with a vi­ral in­fec­tion and fi­nally cured with hor­monal drugs.”

She added that stu­dents take lessons in a spe­cial­ized chil­dren’s pool, and par­ents are not al­lowed to en­ter.

“I never thought the ill­ness was­caused by the wa­ter in the pool un­til I joined a WeChat group. There are 500 par­ents in the group, and nearly 300 ofthemtalked about the­same sit­u­a­tion asmy daugh­ter.”

Sun, the di­rec­tor, said the prob­lem will be cor­rected.

“On Tues­day, the city’s dis­ease pre­ven­tion cen­ter took wa­ter sam­ples, and we are wait­ing for the re­sults,” Sun said. “We have closed the chil­dren’s swim­ming pool and have be­gun com­pre­hen­sive main­te­nance.”

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