Are our babies safe while they play?

@vijigopi (991)
United States
March 17, 2008 2:23pm CST
I got this email from a friend today about the ball pits at McDonald's, Burger King etc. It was a long article explaining how some toddlers who had played in the ball pit had died....because the ball pits are never cleaned frequently. I couldn't copy the whole article because I have not yet come to 500 posts (I hope mylot does get the number of posts down to atleast 100). So, I'm just giving an overview of the whole article. The narrator says one of her kids lost his watch in a ball pit and found vomit, food, faeces and other stuff. She also quotes Lauren Archer, whose son Kevin aged 3 died on his Birthday after he had been playing in a ball pit. His autopsy revealed he had been hurt by a used Heroine injection and had died from a heroine overdose. Another incident stated how another boy died of snake bites in a ball pit. All these instances lead us to this question? Do all those restaurants clean up their play areas frequently? Is this just a false rumor someone has started or have any of you heard of such instances in real life? Are our children really safe?
4 people like this
13 responses
@tinkerick (1257)
• United States
17 Mar 08
Ugh! Well, if you really stop to think about it, those ball pits probably ARE infested with germs and such. But so is any piece of playground equipment, which is why we make sure our kids wash their hands FREQUENTLY! But yes, ball pits could hide awful things in there. I'm sure there are restaurants that take very good care of their play areas, and others that don't do so well. So I spose it's up to our own judgement of the restaurant whether or not to let our child in to play. I did do some quick referencing and: in RE to the heroin story - it is False: http://www.snopes.com/horrors/parental/archer.asp in RE to the snake story - it is also False: http://www.snopes.com/critters/snakes/ballpit.asp
4 people like this
@mmiller26 (1932)
• Canada
17 Mar 08
you beat me to it. lol. I just referenced snopes as well.
1 person likes this
@vijigopi (991)
• United States
17 Mar 08
thanks tinterick!! especially for those useful links!! I guess it is left up to parents to decide which places are safe for their children.
@jillbeth (2710)
• United States
17 Mar 08
I've seen that email. I can believe the part about the food and urine, considering kids are playing in there all the time, but I doubt the rest is true! There are a lot of "urban legend" emails out there and they need to be taken with a grain of salt! If you're not sure, get in the ball pit and check it out before letting your kids play in it! A great site to check out the truth or fiction of these kinds of emails is Snopes.
3 people like this
• Canada
17 Mar 08
Hi Jillbeth, I'm glad you mentioned the Snopes site. There are a couple hours of good reading at that site - and an impromptu QUICK education in 'what not to believe.' There would be half as many "know what I heard?" and "what do you think of this awful thing my neighbor told me about?" threads to sift through at myLot! The creepy story at Snopes that I didn't like was the one about the can of peas with a frog in it, though. That one gave me the shivers. But then - my neighbor never warned me about that one ;)
• Australia
21 Mar 08
^ totally agree!
@lilybug (21145)
• United States
17 Mar 08
I worked at a McDonald's when I was in high school and I remember being around after close when the maintenance guy cleaned the ball pit. It reeked of urine and there was all sorts of stuff in the bottom of it. My son has only ever been allowed to play in the play places that do not have balls because you never know what is in them.
3 people like this
@reeseyj (906)
• United States
18 Mar 08
This email is a mass mailer and scam. They want you to send it to as many people as possible. What they get out of this, I have no idea. I got that email like three years ago.
2 people like this
@MrNiceGuy (4147)
• United States
17 Mar 08
Sounds like a definite scam email to me. A snake bite? Are you serious? Doesn't that mean snakes are dangerous and not ball pits anyways?
2 people like this
• United States
18 Mar 08
I defeniatly think that those are some big risks-and honestly, i do not think the ball pens are cleaned out enough to insure security to our youngsters. But hidden things in the ball pit are not the only risks I think about when I see a child playing in the pen. Some people may not agree with me, but I think that a child could be suffocated in those pits. They somehow dug themselves really deep and panic; and other kids can't see them, maybe they get stepped on and get seriously hurt. Or maybe their neck gets jump on by another child! If I had a kid I would never let them play in the ball pit area of a play gym.
@vijigopi (991)
• United States
18 Mar 08
yes, I have often wondered about the kids getting suffocated in all those layers of balls. They may be standing on a ball and that is not sound ground even for an adult to balance. They might fall down and get hurt.
• United States
19 Mar 08
Yeah there are just sooo many things that can go wrong in those ball pits, I don't trust them at all.
1 person likes this
• Norway
18 Mar 08
This is something I have never ever thought about. It makes sense that the balls would be filthy - no one is going to clean every single ball. I take my daughter to a play factory every few weeks and she loves playing in the balls - what do i do? How do i tell a 2 year old that she isnt allowed play in the balls
@vijigopi (991)
• United States
19 Mar 08
I don't think that all play areas are the same. Like some of them here said, some are cleaned once at the end of the day, just make sure with the restaurant staff that the place is cleaned frequently or better still check it out yourself before you allow your kid to play there. And don't forget to give them a bath after you take them home. Or, you can take her to a park instead where everything can be seen and it is not that filthy.
@denae77 (33)
18 Mar 08
I think really you just have to watch where you go with your kids, Yes those places can be very dirty, but I've never heard it that bad, I have three kids and nothing has ever happened like that, thank god, but I think you have to be smart about everywhere you take your kids, like make sure they wash their hands before they go eating after playing in places like that, make sure they don't put stuff in their mouth, just really it comes down to common sense as a parent, and where were those parents when those crazy things were occuring to their kids, did they not cry, I think those stories are false and over blown.
1 person likes this
@Swaana (1208)
• India
18 Mar 08
The details about syringe and bites could be a spam. But still playing in a ball pit is absolutely dangerous with the faces and food remains in it. I plan not to allow my kids to play in the ball pit hereafter.
1 person likes this
• Philippines
18 Mar 08
That's really disgusting, but it's good that you shared this with us. Now, I don't think I will allow my nephews and nieces to play in those ball pits. I mean, they clean once a day, after work, so I don't think it's even clean all throughout the day.
1 person likes this
@vicky30 (4773)
• India
18 Mar 08
No they are not safe.we should always keep a watch on them because they do not know anything.I read in he news recently a baby playing near the house door was run down by a car.
• United States
18 Mar 08
No i have not herd these storys, and i do not beleive them wich the heroine needle its sound sout there but if u live in a place like ny or somthing. im sure it could happen.. the only thing ive herd about the ball pit really is a kid can suffocate wich makes alot fo since to me.flling in the balls ans being sunken down and all them balls falling all over top of you. is over whelming and can take a kids breath away. or if they panick to much you know. Alos i can imagine the germs in their ewww makes me wanna -----Anyways.. they should use like that anywhere spray frequently throughout the day. its not hard on the kid breathing it in.and if u can spray it by food then obvioulsy its not toxic.
@AICIRT81 (847)
• United States
18 Mar 08
Most of the playlands by us have removed the ball pits. they now just have tunnels and slided. I dont know the reasoning behind removing the ball pits for sure but I suspect that the issues raised in this discussion are why.
1 person likes this