Disabled kids and counselors get sick from chlorine exposure - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Disabled kids and counselors get sick from chlorine exposure

Pool at Happy Day School. Pool at Happy Day School.

Six disabled students and two counselors were rushed to a local hospital Tuesday afternoon, after they became sick from chlorine exposure.

This started around 1:15 p.m. at Happy Day School's indoor pool, located at 2500 Brady Lake Road in Portage County.

Happy Day School helps kids between the ages of 2 and 18 with physical and mental disabilities. The school provides early intervention services, preschool and school age special education services and related services.

Officials say this is the first issue with the 30-year-old pool.

"There were several kids vomiting and several counselors trying to catch their breath," said Gail McAlister with Happy Day School.

 A firefighter on scene tells 19 Action News the pool pump had "inadvertently or accidentally been flipped off. Once it was turned back on, the chlorine that had concentrated there was "shot back into the water." 

He says everyone was examined and treated at the hospital and it didn't appear "to be anything severe."

MetroHealth Hospital Dr. Christine Alexander sees this kind of chlorine exposure too often.

"That liquid, when exposed to warmer temperatures, becomes a gas, and can easily be inhaled into the lungs," explained Alexander. "Imagine that getting into where you breathe and swallow. So lots of burns associated with that as you inhale it really affect nose and back of the throat." 

The hazmat team ventilated the area and by the time they left, the air and water levels were safe. The firefighter says there's no reason to believe the pool won't be open on Wednesday.

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