For many kids, spending hours splashing away in a hotel pool is often the highlight of a family vacation, but for one Chicago family visiting Nashville, it ended up in a trip to the emergency room. Kathy Hartman is warning others after a family swim in their hotel pool in Nashville gave her three children, along with her niece and two nephews chlorine poisoning.
Hartman explained to NewsChannel 5 that her three children and her niece and two nephews were playing in the indoor pool at the Residence Inn at Opryland when she noticed that something wasn't right. "Everybody was coughing and experiencing respiratory complaints," Hartman said. Fortunately for Hartman, she didn't dismiss the coughing and decided to call her family pediatrician to see if they had any advice. Her doctor immediately recognized the signs as that of chlorine poisoning and told Hartman to take the kids to the local emergency room immediately.
Hartman said that an employee of the hotel admitted that the pool room's dehumidifier was broken, but the hotel felt it was safe enough to use anyway. "He said, 'look, the dehumidifier in the pool broke and our hotel was booked solid so we made the call to say it was safe to swim, but that was the wrong call,'" Hartman recounted to the news agency.
Although a hotel spokesperson denied the levels were too high and that both a local company and the Nashville Fire Department cleared the pool for swimming, the fire department stated that "the levels for chlorine were in the permissible range for being airborne however there should not have been any readings at all so the pool is closed."
Hartman said she wanted to share her story so that other parents know what to look for when traveling and their kids are swimming in hotel pools. "You think you're safe in an indoor pool environment that's run by a hotel, but look for the warning signs," she said. "Chlorine poisoning is real and it's serious"
According to the CDC, the symptoms of chlorine exposure include blurred vision, burning sensation in the nose, throat, and eyes, coughing, chest tightness, difficulty breathing or shortness of breath and nausea and vomiting. If you think you're at risk for chlorine poisoning the CDC suggests leaving the affected area immediately, remove your clothing and wash your body completely with soap and water and immediately seek medical help.
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