Parks Canada is warning parents not to let their children play in the small streams that flow onto many P.E.I. beaches.

Four streams in the National Park often show high levels of fecal coliform bacteria, especially after heavy rains, say Parks Canada officials.

"I think most people are used to playing in those streams because they believe it's a safe place for the children," said Parks Canada warden Arja Page.

"I would advise any beach goers, whether it's after a heavy rain or not, to avoid playing in those outflows, because the risk for coliform bacteria contamination is always there. It's just significantly higher after a rain event."

A sign was posted at the Clarks Pond outflow on Cavendish Beach Friday, warning of high bacteria levels.

There are four streams in the national park tested on a regular basis, and three of them have been found to have high levels of bacteria at some point this season.

For mobile device users: Would you let your children play in beach streams?