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Reports of dozens of young children being ill after going to Splashes Leisure Pool, Rainham

By Jenni Horn

Health officers have been visiting families who were ill after visiting a swimming pool.

More than 80 children and adults suffered sickness and diarrhoea after going to Splashes sports centre in Rainham.

An investigation has been launched and officers from Medway Council's environmental health team have been visiting the homes of some of those affected.

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Dozens of children fell ill after going to Splashes. Library image.
Dozens of children fell ill after going to Splashes. Library image.

They have been delivering pots so they can collect stool samples.

The pool in Bloors Lane was shut until 4pm yesterday so the changing rooms could undergo a deep clean. Staff have been "thoroughly cleaning" the pool and increased chlorine levels in the water.

The council say the most likely cause is someone visiting with a sickness bug that has spread to other customers.

VIDEO: Nikki Flack talks about her daughter's illness.

There are reports on social media that one person vomited in the pool on Friday.

Samantha Kemsley took her one year old to the pool on Friday and a few hours later her daughter was admitted to Medway hospital.

She took her to A&E in the early hours of Saturday because she was being violently sick. She was sick at least 15 times.

Splashes swimming pool. Library image.
Splashes swimming pool. Library image.

Mrs Kemsley, from Rainham, said: “One of the questions the doctor on the ward asked was regarding contact she’d had. None of our family or friends are unwell; it wasn’t until we arrived home just after 6.30am that it occurred to us, the only place where she had prolonged contact with people was at Splashes.

“With this in mind, I posted on a Facebook page of which I am a member and was overwhelmed with responses from people who had been at Splashes on the same day as us and their children had come down with the same illness.

"Following this, a relative advised me to post on a second page, again, I received and overwhelming response. I have found that there are over 80 children affected, who we know of so far.”

Samantha has since set up a Facebook group where dozens of parents are reporting their children being ill after going to the pool. The comments suggest at least 60 children have been unwell.

Samantha Kemsley's one year old daughter Sophie was admitted to hospital
Samantha Kemsley's one year old daughter Sophie was admitted to hospital

Emma Knight said: "Me and my husband took my daughters to the pool party. My youngest was sick every 40 mins for eight hours.

"Then my other daughter was sick every hour for six hours Saturday night. I have never known anything like this and to last so long. They won't be going back to school today and I have two very drained not wanting to eat poorly girls."

Gemma Hutley-Reynolds, from Wigmore, contacted KentOnline after her daughter, son and nephew all fell ill. They visited the pool on Friday afternoon.

She said: "My daughter Faye, who is nine, was sick 19 times in about four hours. We had the norovirus in our house a few years ago but this was far worse. I have never seen anything so bad.

"I have emailed the pool and not had any response. My sister has called and left a message with the council and not had a response either."

Mum-of-two Sarah Field took her two children to the pool on Friday but the next day comforted her son and daughter as they suffered vomiting and diarrhoea.

Sarah, whose son is off school, has called for Splashes to be closed down so an investigation can be carried out.

"My daughter Faye, who is nine, was sick 19 times in about four hours. I have never seen anything so bad" - Gemma Hutley-Reynolds

The 26-year-old said: "It is just terrible, we paid about £14 to get in and we thought we were going for a fun day out but then we get this.

"On Saturday evening my son went to bed which is very unlike him. A few hours later he projectile vomited from his bed onto the front door.

"My daughter is in a wheelchair and I was with her in her bedroom because she felt unwell too and was being sick.

"My son's temperature was 41 degrees, I was really scared and thought we might have to go to hospital.

"I called 111 and the doctor said there were quite a few bugs going around, but I think it's Splashes' fault.

"We went there two times last week and on Monday it was fine but Friday it was disgusting, the changing rooms stink of urine. It's horrible."

Sarah, who visited the pool with her husband Damian and her sister-in-law, was forced to keep her son at home today because his temperature was too high.

Joanne Spencer, another mum whose kids are off school, said: "Both mine are off school today.

Gemma Hutley-Reynolds' children, Faye and Joshua
Gemma Hutley-Reynolds' children, Faye and Joshua

"My oldest has managed to eat a small amount but my youngest is still complaining of dizziness and stomach ache and can't eat.

"I find it hard to understand that they're still denying a link between us and the pool. Disgusting attitude."

Neil O'Brien commented online: "I was at splashes on Friday with my family. My little girl woke up Saturday morning covering my house in sick and again on Sunday. It wasn't until Sunday night that myself my wife and my little boy started feeling ill."

Some of the children have been treated at Medocc, Medway's out of hours GP service, over the weekend.

Splashes Leisure Pool, Rainham. Picture: Google Street View
Splashes Leisure Pool, Rainham. Picture: Google Street View

One woman reported going to the pool with a group of seven children and six of them have been ill.

A Medway Council spokesperson said: “Following reports of sickness among some children who had visited Splashes on Friday, we are thoroughly cleaning the pool and changing areas and have increased chlorine levels in the pool.

"While we cannot determine whether the illness is linked to splashes, we have taken necessary precautions to stop the potential further spread of germs.

"We urge customers not to visit the pool when they are feeling unwell, especially when suffering with sickness, as this would be the most likely cause of any spread of illness to other customers.”

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