Twenty years ago, you couldn’t walk into a McDonald’s without
seeing an indoor play area crawling with hyper children. But the good
ol’ days of plastic slides, padded floor, and questionable puddles
is gone. Many “kid friendly” fast food businesses have tossed
away their playground equipment for table space and games. But why? In
truth, fast food joints abandoned indoor play areas because they are a
business liability: They are expensive to maintain and are the source
of countless personal injury lawsuits.
According to an article on
moms.com, a news source and support website for moms, “McDonald’s failed
to report more than 400 injuries to children on playgrounds at restaurants
nationwide back in the ‘90s, including 20 who suffered concussions
or skull fractures and 80 who suffered broken bones.” And those
are only the cases that went unreported. The average helicopter parent
is not going to take a skull fracture sitting down.
But the concept of the indoor play area is still popular – it has
simply moved from fast food locations to event spaces. For example, in
Austin, you can take your child to Epic Fun, Mt. Playmore, and Hoppin
House, and other venues. But are these locations any safer than the plastic
slides of yesteryear?
Sadly, the answer is no.
Indoor Playgrounds are Unhygienic & Dangerous
Children aren’t exactly the embodiment of cleanliness and self-care.
When your little one is racing around a play area, the last thing they
want to do is stop, even for food or the bathroom. As a result, indoor
playgrounds are dangerous breeding grounds for coliform bacteria, staphylococcus,
and fecal bacteria. The employees do their best, but when hundreds of
children are using the playground equipment, what can they do? While they
should thoroughly clean the entire facility every night, most of the employees
are underpaid teenagers with homework and a personal life. Consequently,
it’s not uncommon for a child to get severely sick after visiting
an indoor play area.
Another issue is that parents use indoor playgrounds as daycares. Navigating
the leaps and bounds of parenthood can be a challenge, and it’s
understandable to need a break from time to time. But you still need to
keep an eye on your child and make sure they aren’t falling off
equipment, hurting other kids, or being trampled in a ball pit. There
is a fine line between parental responsibility and employee responsibility.
So, when a parent sneaks out to run errands, it put the child and the
employees in a difficult position. If the child is injured, who is liable?
A parent needs to review the following concerns before allowing the child
to play in an indoor playground:
- Children defecate, vomit, and bleed deep in the labyrinth of plastic tunnels,
ball pits, and slides.
- There are gaggles of unsupervised bullies – children and frustrated
parents – looking for aggression outlets.
- Children can suffer severe injuries when utilizing playground equipment,
and sometimes the other kids don’t run for help.
- It’s not uncommon for children to get trapped in ropes and tunnels.
- Children take food, drinks, and dangerous items into play areas and leave
- Kids dispose of dirty diapers in the tunnels to keep the fun going.
- There have been multiple incidents of young teenage boys assaulting younger girls.
- There have also been reports of exasperated employees injuring children
by accident or on purpose.
Has Your Child Suffered Injuries at an Indoor Playground?
serious child injuries attorneys at The Stewart Law Firm, PLLC if your child has been injured or sexually
assaulted on playground property. We can investigate the business, identify
the liable parties, and help you recover damages that facilitate your
Contact The Stewart Law Firm, PLLC
at (512) 271-5112 to discuss your legal options with a qualified attorney.