Parents have claimed a new playground in a shopping centre that was intended to be inclusive for all ages, is in fact “dangerous”.
The garden playground in Waverley Gardens Shopping Centre, Australia, shared photos of their new playground on Facebook on 8 October.
″We want your little ones to have the best time, so we designed our new playground to be inclusive for all ages,” the caption read.
“We have the soft play area for babies 0-three years old and climbing play for three- to 12-year-olds.”
However parents commented on the photo of the empty playground and pointed out the “dangers” of the equipment, arguing that it wasn’t suitable for all ages.
Would you identify any risks in the photo below?
There were nearly 100 comments on the photo from people who regularly attended the shopping centre and had tried out the new playground.
Much of the concern came from the fact that parents and grandparents didn’t believe the playground was suitable for all ages.
Many also complained about the fact there was not an enclosed fence with gates around the whole area.
Others felt only being able to access the slide via ropes - rather than via steps - was unsuitable.
Risks pointed out by parents:
“It needs a proper ladder to the slide.”
“The smaller slide is too steep for toddlers.”
“My five-year-old son got tangled up in the ropes.”
“There is not an enclosed fence with gates the whole way round.”
“The wire mesh is sharp and dangerous.”
“Insufficient floor padding.”
“Parents unable to access area to help child.”
“Unsafe to have a mixed age group where older children are allowed in soft play.”
The shopping centre replied individually to everyone’s concerns, and also released a statement on Facebook to thank people for their feedback.
“We value this feedback tremendously and rest assured, all your concerns are currently being considered with the view to make some enhancements which we hope will improve the play area and overall experience,” they stated.
Waverley Gardens Shopping Centre statement in full:
“We really appreciate everyone taking the time to provide feedback and share your experiences on our new playground. We value this feedback tremendously and rest assured, all your concerns are currently being considered with the view to make some enhancements which we hope will improve the play area and overall experience. One of the areas of concern that we have already addressed is an additional access point to the ropes installation which will be installed very soon.
“Other modifications and enhancements are also currently being considered and are in the works, such as improvements to the soft play elements and some more interactively play panels that will make it more engaging for younger children. We are currently working on this so keep an eye out for these improvements in the coming weeks and months. We will also be updating everyone on the progress and any changes made here.
“The idea behind the playground was to provide an updated and engaging space for a wider age group of children with all abilities in mind. The playground has been checked at both design and installation stage by an Independent 3rd Party Safety Certifier to ensure a safe and pleasant experience for everyone.”
HuffPost UK has reached out to the shopping centre for further comment and will update this article upon their response.