Tuesday 18 June 2013

Hazardous play.

On one of our recent trips to a park I took Bug to a park that he has never played at before, a park where I used to play often as a child but have not been there for many years.  When we arrived at the park I was surprised with how run down and dishevelled it was looking.  Even though all of the park play apparatus’ were different to the ones I played on when I was a child making them newer additions to the park compared to the ones that I played on nearly 20 years ago they all looked worn, sad and tired.  Unfortunately there was also a lot of graffiti all over the play apparatus which added to the run down appearance of the park.

Even though the park has seen better days and the play apparatus on offer was not exactly toddler friendly I did not think it was fair on Bug to simply leave without a quick play at the park.  Looking through Bug’s child eyes all he saw was a park to play at, with adventures to be had and apparatus to play on and conquer; he did not see the dishevelled state of the park, his eyes did not care for the graffiti and he did not see apparatus that were not toddler friendly instead he saw things he wanted to play on in spite of them being too big or too tricky.  Taking a leaf out of Bug’s book I overlooked the grimy, run down appearance of the park and tried to relish being outdoors with Bug and enjoy playing with him, helping him master the apparatus.

All was going well and Bug was giggling with joy as he played happy at the park then as he was running excitedly towards one of the apparatus’ he was yet to play on the tripped and fell on the foam inset in the ground that is there to cushion falls.  Ironically the foam that is supposed to help prevent accidents from being serious was the cause of his injury, looking at it after dealing with an upset Bug it was clear to see that the foam was sticking up from the ground being a serious trip hazard.  Bug was very upset from taking a tumble especially as he had cut his lip when he landed.  Thankfully he was not seriously injured and after a quick clean on his cut and cuddles from mummy he wanted to play some more.

Keeping an extra close eye on Bug in case of another accident we carried on playing at the park.  With eagles eye looking for any hazards that may cause Bug harm when we moved on to play on the big climbing frame with a slide I noticed a big hazard that could have caused Bug serious injury.  In the centre of the climbing frame was a wooden bridge that connected the two different sections of the play frame and at one of the bridge the half of the bridge fixtures for securing the bridge were hanging loose.  In case of the bridge breaking further and becoming loose from the frame which would have serious injured Bug as he would have fallen from a considerable height to the floor I did not let Bug play on the bridge.

After a swift few rides down the slide we left the park as it felt like the more I looked the more hazards I noticed and it did not seem like a safe play area of Bug.  Even though apart from a minor fall and cut lip Bug was not seriously injured I have complained to the council about the state of the park.  If Bug had been seriously injured I would have made a personal injury claim via the website www.leoclaims.com as Leo Claims are a no win no fee personal injury specialist company. 

I can understand it being difficult to prevent and keep on top of the graffiti but I do think as it is a play area for children the park should be maintained to a better standard with broken apparatus being fixed or replaced for the safety of little ones.  With there being a number of issues at the park of damaged and broken apparatus it was obvious that this run-down park was neglected and that it was not just a case of damage having been done that recently that the council would not have time to notice and repair said damage.  Thankfully as I play with Bug rather than let him just wander off and play by himself I could foresee any issues and protect him as best as I could from injury….I just wish I had not let Bug scamper off so quickly that he fell and cut his lip.

*  I have received an evoucher for writing this post but all opinions and experiences are my own *

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