Mom believes daughter got Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease from Briargate splash pad

Mom believes daughter got Hand Foot and Mouth Disease from Briargate splash pad

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - A Colorado Springs mother is sharing photos of her 2-year-old's infectious disease as a warning to other parents.

She believes her daughter contracted it from a splash pad in Briargate; with warmer days coming our way she wants to make sure parents are more aware.

"She's barely eaten, barely drinking. She's drinking enough to where she's hydrated. She's itchy, she's miserable," said Molly Jenig, Athena's mom.

Two-year-old Athena is usually all smiles but her mom says she hasn't been the same since contracting Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease. She was diagnosed with a severe case by her pediatrician earlier this week.

"Fever Friday, rash Sunday, when I took her to the doctor on Monday the doctor said it was a very severe case and rare that it gets this bad," she said.

Now, Athena's mother is sharing the photos of her sores and blisters to show other parents how dangerous it can be.

While it's difficult to pin down exactly where Athena contracted the disease, her doctor and mom believe it's highly possible it came from the splash pad at John Venezia Community Park in Briargate.

Lenig says she hopes Athena's story can help other children. 

According to the CDC, Hands, Foot, and Mouth Disease is common among children. It causes skin rashes that can spread on palms to the soles of your feet while also causing mouth ulcers.

The virus can transmit through air or contact, and the CDC website also states it can transmit after swallowing infected water.

"It can spread through feces or spit. So many kids go to the water park in diapers, they spit," she said.

When we looked online for an inspection report on the Water Hole at Venezia Park, the El Paso County Public Health website doesn't have one listed. We learned that pools are inspected regularly by the county health department, but there are no regulations in the city or the state for splash pads.

An employee with the EPC Health Department said it's possible the child contracted the disease from the water, but it's more likely that the child got it from another person at the park.

The City of Colorado Springs says the water is tested initially at approximately 7:30 each morning, seven days a week.  They test for free chlorine, total chlorine, Ph and alkalinity with adjustments made if necessary.

An employee with the city also says the system is back washed twice a day and after the initial morning water test the water is tested two more times during the day.

With three other splash pads in Colorado Springs, Athena's mother wants parents to know they could be putting their kids at risk.

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