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Buffaloe Road Aquatics Center turns up rave reviews, some tender toes

Posted September 25, 2012
Updated September 26, 2012

I've gotten two reports of some bleeding toes after visits to the new Buffaloe Road Aquatics Center, which opened last week in Raleigh.

Here are two comments from Go Ask Mom readers on my review last week:

"The place is awesome! The only downside was there are several children reporting in for band-aids due to bleeding toes. The kids bop around on their toes through out the lazy river, whirl pool, and volley ball area...and they are getting blisters. Once you have a can't get back in to the pool. We went Friday and today. They said you can wear water shoes in the pool, but not on the all was good for us. We LOVE this place," wrote colliehut. Buffaloe Road Aquatics Center Buffaloe Road Aquatics Center

A few hours later, nheadley00 shared: "Interesting to hear my little one was not the only one that ended up with blistered, bleeding toes. He played in the tot area for a few hours but no longer than we would spend at our pool over the summer. Wonder what it is about this surface that is causing this? Looking for some water shoes now because he definitely wants to go back soon. Great facility other than this strange problem."

I checked in with Terri Stroupe, the city's aquatics director, who said staff is aware of the issue and has made at least one change. Here's what she wrote me in an email:

"We have noticed that some children, especially if they spend more than two hours in the water, are rubbing some tender spots on their feet. We do think that this is because they are playing hard and the water is softening their skin. We have started doing periodic rest breaks for kids and think that will help. Water shoes will also help with this."

But, the water shoes do need to be removed if a child wants to go down the water slide, she added.

The center at 5908 Buffaloe Rd. opened a week ago and includes a three-story water slide, current channel, vortex and tot play area.


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  • myz123 Oct 5, 2012

    We went today and stayed about 2 hours, both my boys ended up with sore toes but no blood. I stayed in the pool also and my toes are also sore. I do think until they fix the problem they shouldnt restrict you from the pool AS LONG AS you have a waterproof bandage. Most public pools allow you as long as the spot is covered. I would be mad if my kids had to get out after paying $40 for our family to swim!!!

  • FromClayton Sep 27, 2012

    boooooo for the director for blaming the kids for hurt toes! How about they went cheap on the finish and that is the problem. It is no fun to wear shoes in the pool. How about you properly finish the surface and stop blaming kids. Besides, at those prices of course they are spending more tha 2 hours...the parents are trying to get their money's worth.

  • busyb97 Sep 26, 2012

    Is this a saline-system pool? I know our club's pool is, but it's well broken in. But after my in-laws installed a saline system for their pool a couple of years ago, the same thing happened to the kids after being in it for hours. There was some residual salt that had not completely dissolved yet, so it rubbed their feet raw.

    If so, as the system is adjusted and used more, that problem should go away.

    of course, that is just one possibility! something wasn't properly washed off or out, who knows. Hopefully they fix it though. It's a bummer when that happens- hurts too!
    Sounds like a cool place though.

  • uragoner2 Sep 26, 2012

    Let's blame the kids for the injury incurred by an improperly finish floor... Get a couple of belt sanders and finish the pool properly would be the proper thing to do.

  • Liveandlearn Sep 26, 2012

    There are some reports online that state if there has been an improper acid wash of the pool surface or walking surface around pools that this can be the problem. It causes the finish to be very sharp like glass. It is sad that this is happening. Good luck to solving the problem so all those little kiddies can have fun!!!!!

  • colliehut Sep 26, 2012

    I disagree with the director as well. My son is a FISH and he has only gotten blisters at certain pools with surfaces that are a bit rough. Once in the water, you can't pay him to get experience tells me that water softening the skin is not the only reason.

  • cass122 Sep 26, 2012

    That's a really poor reason from the director. How many times in a summer do you think kids go swimming in a pool for hours at a time and rough house and get bleeding toes? Umm, like never.

  • marimom Sep 26, 2012

    I have been to many public pools and my kids have stayed a very long time. Buffaloe Road Aquatics has been the only place where the bottom of their toes start to bleed. The day we went we saw many children going through the same problem. It was very painful and took a couple of days to heal. I never understood the need for water shoes until now.

  • chpiagirl Sep 25, 2012

    Do they allow swim socks? These have helped my kids' feet - even 6 hours at a water park! The water park didn't allow swim shoes on the slides, but they did allow the swim socks.