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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,<br>
We live in rural Kentucky, 5 miles from the closest small town (of about 15,000). We have an amazing creek that runs behind our house and I am debating playing in shallow parts of it when my 9 week old is a little older (like 4 months). Does anyone put their kid in the creek? Does anyone know where to get water tested? Id like to know how many pesticides and other gross chemically stuff is in there. What age do you think is appropriate to expose kids to swimming holes, creeks, and other natural bodies of water?
 

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I was born in very rural KY near the TN boarder (near Bowling Green) and I am ery sure I played in lots of creeks at that age. Do you know the source of your creek? Any construction or factories or odd neighbors putting things in the creek? How about livestock....no poopie of large domesticated animals in the water!<br>
Other then that and the crayfish picking at toes I wouldn't worry too much. Do you get in? Do other people and the kids get in?><br><br>
I love my memories of playing in the creek and catching crawdaddies and building little damns.... I wish I had a creek now!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I know the source is pretty clean. There's no big factories, but neighboors do spray their land with pesticide and then it rains and the runoff goes into the creek. There are cows around us, so I'm sure there's cow poop in there. (Again, running off the land when it rains). We have gotten in it for years to play. She will eventually get it in regardless of all of these things, but I wonder if its too early or if she'll be fine.
 

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We swim in the lake which I'm sure has all sorts of nasty runoff in it. DS1 was swimming in there ~3-4 months old, and ds2 will be swimmin in it ~10-11 months (due to having been born at the end of last summer, vs born in the spring as ds1 was<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1">. Honestly, I'm more wierded out by pools than I am by lakes/rivesr/streams/etc <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/shrug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="shrug">
 

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The only thing I'd worry about is giardia, but I've never been worried enough to test anywhere that we play. Have fun ;D
 

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I used to take dd to the creek when lived in No CA, when she was little. I'd be more worried about the water temp. I know the one we swam in the water was maybe in the 60s even in summer.
 

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I am probably going to be the lone person to say no I would not do it. When my daughter was 6 or 7 months old we went to the lake. She was sitting up at that time and she had the best time spending the day playing in the edge of the water (she was sitting in the water) with some toys. A few days after that she became extremely sick. So sick that I had to take her to the emergency room and stay in the hospital with her for several days. She had an infection in her bladder and urinary tract. It is assumed that the infection could have been connected to prolonged exposure to the water.<br><br>
I just would not risk it at that age, especially not with a girl. It would also be easy for a little one that age to get the water on their hands and put them in their mouth. I am not a big worrier and let my kids play in the mud and dirt freely when they are older. But little one's may not have as much immunity yet. Plus we may have played in the water as kids but the world we live in now is not the same as it was back then! Our world is a nastier more polluted world <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"><br><br>
Just my two cents <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink">
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks everyone for the advice! We are going to do it, when she's a little older and the creek is a little warmer.<br><br><br><br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>mamadelbosque</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15437254"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Honestly, I'm more wierded out by pools than I am by lakes/rivesr/streams/etc <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/shrug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="shrug"></div>
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We really want her to love water. I am going to put her in the swimming pool here in the next week or so. Is there something I should be worried about other than chlorine?
 

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I have two perspectives... I got really sick as a kid from playing in the creek. All of my siblings did, in fact. We had played in it many times before and were fine, but that one time we all got ill, for weeks. Much to our dismay our mom never let us go back. As an adult, I bring my kids to the same creek. Five year old and two year old. Brought them last year as well. I have a few pointers... Cooler water is better!!!! Most of the pathogens that will make you ill flourish in warmer water. We only go if it has rained a few days before hand... You want the water to be moving briskly(stagnation also contributes to nasties growing). Also, if it has rained, the higher water flow will have pushed a lot of stuff downstream... I know that is subjective. It could have pushed crap from upstream to you, but generally I feel like anything that has been sitting around multiplying has been knocked loose... That's why I wait a few days after a rain. Enough to let it settle, but soon enough that nothing has picked up production, kwim?<br><br>
If the water is slow, low, or too warm stay out of it! That is what happened when we got sick. I think that it was a regional thing... The doctor knew to ask if we had been to the creek recently. Ick, right? What previous posters said is right... Check out who is upstream from you. If it seems safe, then it is probably alright. When in doubt, we slather with virgin coconut oil. The high lauric acid content is anti-everything-nasty and absorbs into the skin. Repels water too.
 

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Pretty much ditto what StrongBeliever said. My kids just got a bowl full of crayfish yesterday in ours. But it's been flowing nicely (but not too strongly for them to play in it). Before long I won't let them unless we get some more good rain. Honestly, as much as my kids roll around w/my dogs after they've been in the stagnant water, I'm sure my kids are ok when the water is running, lol.
 

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Welll, ponds and creeks are our only swimming option so we do it a lot! I trained my kids early to try and not get water (or too much water) in the mouth. We've not been sick yet. I avoid my favorite creek when there is active grazing and too much cow poop.
 

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We play/swim in the river behind the house on hot days. I've thought about what chemicals might be in the water before but I've never had it tested. I do know there are fish, snakes, crayfish and frogs so the water can't be too bad, right?
 

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I would get the water tested first. We used to take our girls to swim in a local creek that was spring fed. Then, we saw an article that said that it had 3 types of fecal bacteria in the water when it was tested. 100 times the safe limit. They say that it's because of heavy rains carrying it from septic systems and animal waste.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Sorry it took me so long to respond, I've been w/o a computer for a few days.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>wendyland</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15448769"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I would get the water tested first.</div>
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Do you happen to know where I can do that?<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>StrongBeliever</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15442397"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">When in doubt, we slather with virgin coconut oil. The high lauric acid content is anti-everything-nasty and absorbs into the skin. Repels water too.</div>
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Ill have to look into that. Great advice, thanks!
 

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I did a search on water testing labs and it came back with quite a few.<br><br><a href="http://www.state.ky.us/nrepc/water/wclablst.htm" target="_blank">http://www.state.ky.us/nrepc/water/wclablst.htm</a>
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>wendyland</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15455638"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I did a search on water testing labs and it came back with quite a few.<br><br><a href="http://www.state.ky.us/nrepc/water/wclablst.htm" target="_blank">http://www.state.ky.us/nrepc/water/wclablst.htm</a></div>
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Thanks! That is really helpful. For some reason I was looking at Ag extentions and the water company. I hadn't thought of testing labs.
 

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You might also consider the critters that can be harmed by your presense, not just who can harm you. I don't know what kind of fish you have in your creek, but here where I live salmon and trout redds are destroyed by people walking on the gravel.
 

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Testing labs can do it, and most health departments in KY will do a water test. Just call and ask. I'm in eastern Kentucky in the mountains. I let my girls play in our creek. We live at the headwaters and there are no neighbors above us. We also don't have any mountaintop removal sites near enough to affect the water where we are - the creek water anyway.<br><br>
Since you are in central KY, you probably don't have the mining aspect to worry about. Also, consider where people let their sewage drain. There are some who put it in the creeks. It's illegal, but they do it. Check on that one. Aside from knowledge of that, I wouldn't worry about much.<br><br>
I grew up swimming in the lakes and playing in the creek. I have never been sick from it and neither have my girls. My dad is an environmental engineer, and he tests water on occasion for me, but he never has our creek. Our drinking water comes from a coal bank spring too - untreated. It's good water! Just know your surroundings and what your neighbors are up to environmentally. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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You can test, but it is a creek and the water quality will change daily due to the influx of new water. So if you test in May, it will not be accurate for June, July, August.<br><br>
My dh is a microbial ecologist, so water quality is pillow talk in my house. His lab studies several water sources for naturally occurring bacteria and the influx of pathogens is on the rise due to human population density and rising water temperatures. That said we have let our kids swim in the Chesapeake Bay and have regretted it terribly when our son spent several days hospitalized with a blood infection.<br><br>
If you do swim, go early in the season before the water temps rise and be cautious.
 

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<p>I'm a little (okay, a lot) late coming into this thread. I was nosing around the Country Living threads and saw this post.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Just wanted to add my two cents in and say that I played in a creek all the time when I was a kid. We'd go play in the creek, go play in the mudhole, and then go back to the creek. It was great! I don't think anyone got sick from it. Unfortunately, those times were back in the mid-1980's to early 1990's, so the creek's a little smaller now. Have fun in the summer!</p>
 
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