Children released from the hospital after exposure to chlorine at YMCA Flowood pool

Published: Sep. 26, 2022 at 7:42 PM CDT
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FLOWOOD, Miss. (WLBT) - The children hospitalized Sunday after chlorine exposure at the Flowood YMCA have been released. Monday, the small therapy pool where the incident occurred remained closed.

A birthday pool party at the Flowood YMCA took a frightening turn when 12 children began coughing and had to be sent to the hospital. Chlorine fumes reportedly caused respiratory issues. Flowood Fire Chief Jeffrey Welborn said 25 children were in the water when it happened.

“We found that there had been some pool chemicals added to the pool prior to the kids’ arrival. The circulating pump in the pool wasn’t on whenever it was done,” said Welborn. “It was turned on just prior to the kids entering the pool, which caused the gas or fume to come off the water.”

YMCA Interim CEO Jeff Collen said they are trying to determine how the incident happened.

“We’re having an outside pool company take a look at that to double-check what we’re doing, then we’ll reopen the pool,” said Collen. “Again, it’s something that is very unusual in my experience. I’ve never seen that in 35 to 40 years of working with pools and aquatics.”

The chlorine exposure occurred in the small therapy or children’s pool, not the large lap competitive pool. Hospital officials said one of the children was admitted as a hospital inpatient for further observation but has been discharged.

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