Friday, November 20, 2009

Germ Pits


Those are the two words that run though my paranoid mommy head every time we arrive at a party location that has one of these things. Last week was no exception but unfortunately, I ignored that little voice in my head and let the DD play away. Actually both kids pulled a switcheroo on me. Ethan was the one who was quietly playing with his friends in the play kitchen area of the location and Katie Starr decided to be the Indiana Jones of the party and kept diving into the foam pit. Seriously, she was in and out of that thing for the full 90 minutes we were in that room. About an hour into it, she came over to me because she wanted to give me a hug and I saw that her eyes were very irritated. I asked her to slow down a bit but before I could say "Please" she was off and running again. I hate to squelch these opportunities as she is not normally that adventurous and I think it is great when she starts to relax a little in these situations.

A little bit later, the party attendants called all of the party goers into the party room for Pizza and Cake. After locating and gathering the DD up, I started to hear that Katie was coughing. By the time that we got into the room she was having a full blown coughing and wheezing attack. It was so bad that Katie could hardly catch her breath, so I bid the hostess and birthday boy a hasty adieu and off we went so that I could get Katie something to relieve these symptoms. The whole way home she continued with the harsh coughing. We got home and I performed some of my mommy hocus pocus on her and the cough subsided. By the time she went to bed she was just fine. I immediately drew a correlation between the coughing and the foam pit. For the next few days, the only time that she would cough was sporadically at night and when she ran around too much during the day. She had no fever and no other symptoms...not even a runny nose.

Finally, last night she awoke at 4:00 AM and was coughing and choking again. She did this for about an hour and a half. I actually thought she was going to vomit from all of the coughing. It happened again on the Playground at school earlier today. We decided to take Katie to see her doctor. The doctor examined her carefully. She must have listened to her lungs for 7-10 minutes. After listening to my story of how this had all started, she said that this was definitely caused by the foam pit. It was not that she got sick from the germs right away but that the mold and dust that live in the foam and are stirred up by the movement, had irritated her lungs. Katie definitely has a predisposition to lung issues, especially since her bout with Pneumonia this past May.

She warned me to keep her away from the pits and other similar things that may irritate her lungs. She has put her on Albuterol Syrup, which is a medicine that deals with airway spasms. We just now left her room for the third or fourth time since she went to bed to rub her back and comfort her as the coughing so severely. I pray that she falls asleep soon so that she can get some rest.

Listen to your mama is usually right. I wish that I had this past Saturday.


Tammie said...

Why am I not surprised to hear this? Erin always hated those foam pits - even at her own parties. She generally gets sick after going into them also but nowhere near as severe as her buddy Katie Starr.

It makes you wonder why these party places continue to use the foam pits. They have to know that trauma that can happen.

Diana said...

My youngest had asthma and EVERYTIME we went to the see the "Chuckster" he had a flair up..I did not know if it was from the tubes or the ball pits but it was everytime.
Hope Katie gets feeling better soon:)
I loved your Husbands post!!!

Brenda said...

Thanks for sharing this because I've never seen a foam pit. Now I know to avoid them for Mae Li.

Big hugs to Katie and praying that she is better soon.

Doug and Terrye said...

I'm so sorry that Katie had to go through that!!! It is amazing that things that are made for our kids fun can actually cause them such harm :( I'm thankful that you put the warning out there, I will absolutely avoid these things in the future. My older son had asthma (still does), and it is so painful to watch our child suffer through an attack...and feel so helpless. Thanks for sharing so that we can be well equiped in the future :)

Vivian M said...

When Kerri had these kind of lung issues in the past, we would get an albuterol med for the nebulizer and do breathing treatments, even at night when she slept. The albuterol does make them a bit more nervous and jumpy, and might affect her ability to fall asleep, but it really helps with the breathing and coughing.
I am glad you now know to avoid the germ pits, it is so sad that these places are not more hygenic with their play equipment.

MeiLi's Adoption Journey said...

Wow never thought those things could be so hazardous. I remember my son would always have a mild asthma attack after his birthdays. Due to over exhaustion. Luckily he grew out of it, I hope Katie does too.