Children exposed to possible chlorine leak remain hospitalized from YMCA swim party

Several children remain in the hospital a day after a birthday swim party at the YMCA in Flowood exposed them to a possible unfiltered chlorine leak into the water.

Twelve children were sent to an area hospital, among them Children's Hospital of Mississippi.

The incident happened around 2:30 p.m. Sunday.

Jeff Collens, interim metropolitan YMCA CEO, said the YMCA observed all chlorine levels prior to the children swimming.

"The chlorine levels were good based on our records," Collens said. "We are unsure of what could have gone wrong specifically."

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YMCA officials said the pools are cleaned with automatic chlorine pumps as needed. The pool where the incident occurred remained closed Monday while officials tried to learn what happened and prevent it from happening again. A third party had been hired to inspect the pool.

Rebecca Day, a mother of one of 12 children rushed to the emergency room Sunday posted on Facebook that all of the children are ages 7 and under. Day said the hospital continued to run tests on her child Monday.

"We are one of the families in the E.R.," Day said in her post. "We shouldn't have been allowed in the pool if there was a problem."

Day stated the children were swimming for 15 to 20 minutes before any complications occurred.

"Shortly after swimming all of the kids started choking and couldn't catch their breath for a moment," Day posted. "My son vomited five times."

Leslie's Pool Supplies is national pool store that sells chemicals and works on pool components but was not involved with the Flowood YMCA. A Leslie's Pool Supplies representative said most large pools use a computer-based filtering system that checks for unbalanced chlorine levels.

The representative stated that the circulation pump could have been damaged, which causes chlorine to build up resulting in unfiltered chlorine being distributed into the pool.

Renee' Weaver was another parent who posted on Facebook that her child had been taken to a hospital after attending the party. Her child was taken to the hospital via ambulance.

"If they knew about the problem, the children should not have been allowed to swim," Weaver posted. "My daughter swam for 15-20 minutes before she came out of the pool choking and coughing. Pray for these sweet kids being treated at Batson."

Children's Hospital of Mississippi did not respond to requests for comment.

This article originally appeared on Mississippi Clarion Ledger: 12 children admitted to local hospital after swimming at Flowood YMCA