Clean, safe splash pads great fun for younger kids


For children too young for swimming pools, splash pads are a fun alternative. Timid children enjoy playing around the edge, and for bolder children the fountains are amazing.

Here are some cautions for parents and caregivers:

Waukee’s Fox Creek Park features a free splash pad.

Splash pads can spread germs and make users sick if the water is not adequately disinfected. The only splash pad that your Dallas County Health Department currently inspects is in Waukee’s Fox Creek park. Other splash pads in Dallas County are not considered aquatic venues requiring oversight of disinfection with germ-killing chemicals.

Before they enter a splash pad, wash your children’s diaper area, and take all children on bathroom breaks and diaper checks hourly. Anyone who has diarrhea must stay out of the water.

Discourage children from letting water get in their mouths.

Don’t sit or stand on the water jets, because this basically creates a bidet, rinsing anything on your behind into the water.

Another splash pad hazard is the potential for falls. Shallow water warms quickly, allowing algae and other organisms to grow on the splash pad surface. Children love to joyfully run through water, but running on a hard and slippery pad invites trauma. Do your best to slow the running.

Ann Cochran is the health navigation coordinator in the Dallas County Public Health Department.


  1. However for the older kids a Perry community swim park/aquatic center with slides to go with a splash pad, just like the ones in our nearby surrounding communities have, would be really nice.
    When is one going to be built? Are even anything planned other than a wish but no date for it to occur? And while we are at it; how about a YMCA like what Waukee or West Des Moines has? Both of those together would really make Perry a even better place to raise children than it already is.


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