July 16, 2009, - 3:41 pm

Girlie Man Nation: Hey, Kids, Playing in the Sand Could Kill You (Says $65K Govt Study)

By Debbie Schlussel
In raising your young kids, don’t worry about the tons of sex and violence they are exposed to on TV. Those aren’t problems. You know what the real problem is?
Sand on the beach. Yeah, that’s the ticket. Instill a fear of sand in your kid.
Oh, and did I mention that $65K in your tax money paid for the study that issues the alarm and says you shouldn’t handle food with dirty hands?

Add playing in the sand to the long list of fun things that may be bad for your health.


Marked for Death

A new study says you risk getting an upset stomach and diarrhea if you dig into the granular stuff to fill toy pails, build sand castles or bury yourself. You’re better off walking along the shore or swimming in the surf.
Is the federal government, which paid $63,500 for the research, throwing a major bummer into the beach-going season? . . .
The report’s authors said they don’t mean to put a damper on summer fun. They just think it’s important to caution people about the bird droppings, urban runoff, sewage and other contaminants that pollute sand.
“Take care to use a hand sanitizer or wash hands after playing in the sand,” said Tim Wade, an epidemiologist with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency who helped write the study. . . .
As part of a larger assessment of water quality at beaches, EPA researchers interviewed more than 27,000 beach-goers in 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2007. There were four sites on the Great Lakes and one each in Mississippi, Alabama and Rhode Island.
Beach-goers were asked about their contact with sand on the day of their visit. Ten to 12 days later, they were contacted by phone to discuss health problems that surfaced since then.
The EPA and the University of North Carolina analyzed the information, and their results appear in the latest edition of the American Journal of Epidemiology. It’s being touted as the most comprehensive look at how specific activities involving beach sand might cause sickness.
Less than 10 percent of people who played with sand came down with diarrhea and/or gastrointestinal illness.
But that number is still up to 24 percent higher than for folks who didn’t. Researchers said the risk of illness was highest for those who were buried in the sand and that children are more likely than adults to fall sick. . . .
“We are hypothesizing . . . that people are coming into contact with fecal contamination in the sand and then transferring that to their hands and then to their mouth,” he said.
Heaney said beach-goers should be careful when handling food.
“The beach . . . is not a sterile environment,” he said.

So, they’re hypothesizing, but they have no actual proof that playing in the sand causes any of these illnesses.
But, wow, $65,000 spent to give us some real genius advice, which is essentially, “Wash your hands before eating.”
Einstein stuff.

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10 Responses

I need a $65,000 “study” to tell me to practice good hygiene after I’ve been outdoors?

NormanF on July 16, 2009 at 4:00 pm

With all that money, they completely miss the real danger, which is don’t build a tunnel and then put your head into it:

Gabe on July 16, 2009 at 4:46 pm

Did you hear about the leaflets they are handing out in public schools in the UK now, Junior High and up? The leaflets tell kids that for good cardio-vascular health they should engage in sex at least twice a week, either intercourse or masturbation.
Coming soon to a public school near you, no doubt.

horselady on July 16, 2009 at 5:11 pm

I thought the only danger playing in the sand was finding syringes, other medical waste and used condoms.
what a beautiful country.

ender on July 16, 2009 at 8:37 pm

they needed 65,000 dollars for advice mom told you for free?

mindy1 on July 16, 2009 at 9:47 pm

Our government is a parody of itself.
I want to throw sand in their eye.

Squirrel3D on July 16, 2009 at 11:32 pm

I agree this study is ridiculous and a total waste of taxpayer’s money. And it reminded me of my visit to a Newport, RI public beach just last week. A sign was posted listing the myriad things you couldn’t do like “throw frisbees, run, fly kites, etc.” Huh? Not everyone goes to the beach to just lie there and work on their tan. Sort of hit home to me how incredibly regulated we’ve become and where it all may end. Very scary thoughts…

swq on July 17, 2009 at 10:49 am

Eventually everything that is fun will be banned for your own good.Just one example of the loss of freedom and liberty:
I can remember when I was a kid we looked forward to the 4th of July so we could light the firecrackers and fountains.
Now they are illegal only safe and sane government employees allowed to have the fun.
America used to be the land of the free now it is becoming land of the overtaxed and oppressed.
I am mad as hell and I am not going to take it anymore!
BTW Barry Soetoro;Where is that Birth Certificate?

ScottyDog on July 17, 2009 at 4:22 pm

As a practicing medical doctor, I can hardly keep a straight face about this issue.
Infection depends on dose – fecal contamination of beach sand is likely VERY dilute, and not worthy of concern most of the time.
As to using hand sanitizers, some experts believe that over use kills “good bugs”, allowing “super bugs” to grow.

Frank on July 18, 2009 at 8:59 am

Had a great time at the Sand Castle Open in Imperial Beach, near San Diego. And no one got sick. Hehehe.

californiascreaming on July 20, 2009 at 11:39 am

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