12 Kids Hospitalized After Swimming in Drew University Pool
Twelve children participating in a soccer camp at Drew University fell ill while swimming at a pool on the Madison, New Jersey campus Monday.
Drew University officials said, contrary to many media reports, that there was no presence of heightened chlorine levels in the water.
The children affected range from ages 10 to 17 – they experienced shortness of breath, difficulty speaking between breaths, nausea, and “airway issues,” according to Jeff Paul, director of the Morris County Office of Emergency Management.
Twelve children were taken to Morristown Medical Center and released late Monday afternoon, according to hospital spokeswoman Karen Zatorski.
Emergency officials responded to the Drew University Madison campus shortly after noon to a report of children falling ill “as a result of being exposed to a higher-than-normal concentration of liquid chlorine,” said Jeff Paul – Drew University officials disputed this statement.
“Initial tests detected normal levels of chlorine and all systems were working as expected,” said Stuart Dezenhall, a Drew University Spokesperson.
Morris County Hazmat and Madison officials conducted a follow-up test which showed no heightened levels of chlorine but they are working to conduct further testing.
Madison police will continue to handle the investigation into the chlorine levels.
“We responded to reports of chlorine-related medical issues and that is what the symptoms supported,” said Jeff Paul.
Dezenhall, the university spokesperson said the campers were taken to the hospital “in an abundance of caution,” and their parents or guardians were notified.
Several Morris County emergency agencies, including police, fire, mass casualty response, first aid, and EMS squads, responded to the incident, helping transport children to the hospital.