Splash Pad Safety

image of a splash pad or spray park

A splash pad is an interactive water playground where people are sprayed with water. Splash pads are also called "interactive fountains," "spray pools or pads," "splash parks," "spray parks," or "wet decks" and can be located indoors or outdoors.

Splash pads are often designed so standing water does not collect in the water play area to reduce the risk of drowning. Because of this design, not all splash pads are regulated, nor are they always required to disinfect the water with germ-killing chemicals. Splash pads can spread germs and make users sick if the water is not adequately disinfected. So, users and parents of young users should take their own steps to stop the spread of germs.

What can I do to protect my family?

Splash pad users and parents of young users can take a few steps to help stop the spread of germs in the water:

A table of things to do and not to do when playing at splash pads

Splash pads at hotels, campground, and summer camps are regulated by Virginia pool regulations. Splash pads that are not located at a permitted hotel, campground, or summer camp may be regulated by a local pool code or ordinance. For more information on splash pad regulations in your area, contact your local health department.

How can I learn more?

The National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) published a Quick Guide for Preventing the Spread of Germs in Splash Pads.

The Model Aquatic Health Code (MAHC) provides voluntary design, operation, and management standards for all types of aquatic venues.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) webpage on splash pads provides education and information on splash pad health and safety.

animated graphic of kids at splash pad