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Microbiologist reveals ‘what’s growing’ on child’s hand after one-hour visit to playground – and the results are shocking

A microbiologist has shared disturbing findings after testing just how clean children’s playgrounds really are.
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A microbiologist has shared disturbing findings after testing just how clean children’s playgrounds really are.

Tim Call often has bad news for germaphobes, having previously hit the headlines for sharing shocking details about everything from hand dryers to kitchen sinks.

The 32-year-old frequently tests commonly used products and spaces for bacteria.

In his latest experiment, the Utah native, who has over 270,000 followers, tackles playgrounds in a TikTok clip that has over 287,700 views and 20,000 likes.

(Credits: Jam Press) Video grab of Tim Call’s playground experiment

Tim made the strange discovery by comparing the amount of bacteria on a child’s hand before and after one hour at the playground.

He starts by first testing the hand before visiting the playground, on a petri dish, before waiting 10 minutes – and discovering a few bacterial colonies.

The microbiologist then shows the items the child had played on, including climbing toy rocks, sliding on slides and having fun with wood chips.

An hour later, the young boy puts his hand in another petri dish, which Tim took home and investigated.

He then finds thousands of bacterial colonies, as well as large patches of fungus.

“I wanted to do the playground video to demonstrate that bacteria is everywhere,” Tim told NeedToKnow.co.uk.

“I felt a playground would be a fun way to show that.

“My goal was to be able to show the vast amount of growth after going to a high traffic location.

“By capturing this, I wanted to emphasise the importance of hand washing after visiting places like this.

“I expected so see lots of bacterial growth, and I did observe lots of bacterial growth.”

Tim has taken part in multiple experiments over the years, and this is one of many.

(Credits: Jam Press) Tim Call

He added: “The cleanest thing that I tested that surprised me was gas pumps at gas stations.

“I thought they would be filled with bacteria due to the amount of usage but was surprised to see there was very little growth, only five colonies grew.”

Horrified users have rushed to the comment section to share their thoughts on the step-by-step playground video.

Shando said: “This is why I immediately sanitise their hands after play.”

Sophia added: “As if my anxiety level wasn’t already thru the roof at playgrounds.” [sic]

Audrieh commented: “My two year old doesn’t make it home without licking his fingers at some point.” [sic]

Thea wrote: “Now my hands will never feel clean again.”

Someone else added: “He’ll have a well trained immune system.”

ENDS

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