An angry mum took to Facebook recently after an indoor playground* continued running while staff were cleaning up a poo accident that happened in the ball pit.
According to mum Justine Marie Santos-Sugay, she and her husband had taken their son to an indoor playground to play. After watching her four-year-old son playing for 10 minutes, she noticed something was amiss. Strangely enough, some indoor playground staff were emptying the ball pit while there were still about roughly 20 kids playing.
There was poo in the ball pit
Curious as to why the staff would be cleaning playground equipment right at that moment, she went to talk to the attendant on duty. According to him, they were just replacing the balls.
So imagine her shock when she found out from other parents that the staff were actually cleaning faeces that they had found in the ball pit. Furious, she confronted the attendant asking why wasn’t she told about the matter, to which he replied that he thought she already knew.
She immediately asked her husband to remove their son from the playground while she talked to the manager of the place. Angry that her son spent 15 minutes in a faeces-infected playpen, she asked the manager for a refund.
The indoor playground continued on as usual
Staff should be cleaning playground equipment properly without any children still playing around.
When asked why they didn’t close the ball pit, the manager replied that he was 100% sure that the poo was just contained in that area.
In other words, spot cleaning was sufficient. He did not see the need to close the whole place so that a more thorough cleaning ccould be done.
But as any parent knows, the kids throw the balls everywhere – so actually, there is no fool-proof way of knowing if the ball is contaminated with faeces or not. Just think about the long list of infections that can be transmitted through faeces like HFMD, rotavirus, salmonella and even worms. It’s enough to give even the toughest of us the creeps.
Just imagine how mummy Justine felt when they saw their son holding two balls when they found him. Why did they allow the children to continue playing while they were cleaning playground equipment?
‘I practically doused him in cleaning alcohol!’
In a short interview, Justine told TheAsianParent that she practically doused her son with alcohol when they got home.
“There is a lack of regulation and accountability. And it pains me to think that so many parents just avoid [the mall playground] altogether instead of demanding for better service. “
In reply to the incident, the indoor playground released a statement later stating:
Cleaning playground equipment and proper sanitizing is important
Even if the indoor playground looks visibly clean, germs, bacteria and viruses may still be present. It is important to properly clean or disinfect surfaces that may be contaminated. This is to reduce harmful germs and the risk of children contracting illness and disease.
Cleaning up of body fluids like blood, urine, vomit, or faecal matter should be done immediately. The area should be closed off so that the staff can disinfect the area. Prior to disinfecting the area, surfaces should always be first cleaned thoroughly with soap and water.
Good hygiene practices in indoor playgrounds include:
- no footwear (except socks)
- no eating or drinking allowed
- Hygiene levels are adhered to, and daily cleaning and inspections are carried out.
References: Mayo Clinic, WebMD
Read also: Toddler catches HFMD, possibly from an indoor playground
*The incident happened in the Philippines. The name of the playground has not been revealed.