Ball pits could contain life-threatening germs because they can go weeks without being cleaned, research has warned.  Nine germs that can have disastrous outcomes, including septicaemia, meningitis and pneumonia, were identified in a study. There are no regulations on how often the play areas should be cleaned, researchers said, leading to a growing colonization of bacteria.  Nine germs that can have disastrous outcomes, including sepsis, meningitis and pneumonia, were identified in ball pits by the University of North Georgia ‘Ball pits are often contaminated with visible dirt, vomit, faeces, or urine providing an origin and permissive environmental factors for microbial contamination’, said study authors at the University of North Georgia.  ‘Clinics may go days or even weeks between cleanings, which may allow time for microorganisms to accumulate and grow to levels capable of transmission and infection.’  Researchers, led by physical therapist Dr Mary Ellen Oesterle, visited six ball pits attached to inpatient physical therapy clinics or outpatient clinics across Georgia, On the plastic surfaces, 31 bacterial species were identified, including eight pat...