Parents believe hotel pool responsible for children's skin illness

Nearly a dozen children who attended pool parties at a Mt. Juliet hotel now have welts and blisters all over their bodies. Parents believe the children got it from the hotel pool. The Holiday Inn Express in Mt. Juliet voluntarily closed its pool on Tuesday after the children were diagnosed with a painful skin condition called folliculitis.

"They're telling me it's a form of staph," Shannon Hoyt said. "This is serious." Monday night, Hoyt said she was horrified when her 7-year-old son walked downstairs after his evening bath and showed what happened on his backside. "I thought it was chicken pox," Hoyt said. A late night trip to a walk-in clinic revealed that it was actually folliculitis, a common skin disorder. It is often spread through pools. "He was just at a swimming party," Hoyt said.

Hoyt's son is one of about a dozen children who attended pool parties last Saturday at the Holiday Inn Express in Mt. Juliet. Not long after her son's diagnosis, Hoyt learned that many of the other children who were at the pool on Saturday were experiencing the same symptoms. "I do think it was from the pool, just from talking with other parents that were there," she said. "He was in a party with five other children who all have it." Though hotel managers voluntarily closed the pool on Tuesday, it was reopened last night. "It is our understanding that those health department inspections revealed nothing unusual, actually resulting in a score of 96 out of 100 for the first inspection and found nothing different in their last inspection," hotel manager CJ Patel said in a statement. "We regret that anyone has experienced illness but there is no indication that our property is to blame." "It's very concerning to me as a mother," Hoyt said. "When your child has these on him and they're painful and he's crying it night. And they seem to be taking it very lightly." The Tennessee Department of Health is still investigating, but unless something changes, there is not much they can do to force hotel officials to close the pool.

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