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7 Disgusting Facts About Ball Pits That Will Ruin Your Childhood

Updated October 13, 2018 40.2k views7 items

One would assume a ball pit provides a safe, enclosed space for kids to jump around and have a blast throwing, crawling, and burning all their energy in a sea full of balls. The reality, however, is that there are more germs in ball pits than there are on a toilet seat. While there are more dangerous ways for kids to have fun, ball pits are filthy health hazards that should come with a serious health warning attached. 

When it comes to gross ball pits, location is everything. With ball pits set up at home or those newly fashionable adult ball pits, it is much easier to keep things sanitary. Fast food chains and places where kid birthday parties take place, like Chuck E. Cheese, are a completely different story, however. In public ball pits, you can expect that your kids will encounter everything from squashed cheeseburgers to used condoms in the ball pit.

If you ever had questions about what lurks at the bottom of a ball pit, then get ready to dive in to these disgusting facts about kids ball pits. Once you learn about why ball pits are gross, you may just find yourself building one in your own backyard. 

  • Ball Pits Are Full of Food

    Ball Pits Are Full of Food is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list 7 Disgusting Facts About Ball Pits That Will Ruin Your Childhood
    Photo: hildaaa. / flickr / CC-BY-ND 2.0

    Ball pits are gross enough as it is. They only get grosser when you realize how often kids take their food into the play areas with them. Obviously, this is a situation that becomes more prevalent at fast food chains like McDonald's and Burger King. At these joints, the bottom of the pit is covered with stale Chicken McNuggets and half eaten cheeseburgers.

    Be sure to check your kid's feet for pickles next time they are playing in the ball pit.

  • Children's Accidents Can Go Unreported

    Children's Accidents Can G is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list 7 Disgusting Facts About Ball Pits That Will Ruin Your Childhood
    Photo: A.Currell / flickr / CC-BY-NC 2.0

    When you combine kids jumping around and playing with eating junk food, there are inevitably going to be accidents. The problem here comes when the parent is either too embarrassed to report what happened or just doesn't care in their haste to leave. In those situations, vomit, burst diapers, and who knows what other bodily fluids are infecting the ball pit your kids are playing in.

    Also beware of the smell of strawberries. This Chuck E. Cheese employee speaks of how he was taught to cover the smell of vomit with cotton candy crystals.

  • The Balls Are Cleaned Unconventionally and Infrequently

    Cleaning approximately a billion tiny plastic balls is no easy task. However, when you consider that these balls are touched, gummed, and played with every day by germ-ridden kids, they do need to be cleaned at some point. A former employee who worked at the bastion of civilization that is Chuck E. Cheese noted that the ball cleaning at this restaurant was done in an unusual way

    "They're rarely cleaned. When we did clean them, we put them in my boss' pickup truck in netted bags. Then we just went through a car wash."

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