Friday, August 22, 2008

New Signs at Sunset Playground are a Reaction to News Story

We still don't have one of the City's "Playground Rules" signs, like this one from Rappaport Playground:

But it seems the City wants to make sure that no one can say they weren't told about summer safety issues - at the end of August. Here's what was very recently added to the gate at the Sunset Park playground:

Apparently, these signs were put up sometime on Wednesday afternoon. By curious coincidence, that is just a day or so after a NY Daily News reporter spoke with a local parent about the lack of response to her complaints regarding her child's burns on the playground. The brief article was in Thursday's Brooklyn section of the NY Daily News. Keep in mind that the parent's complaints were from early June. Hmmmmmm. Does it take that long to make a few copies and laminate a few signs?

In addition, considering that recent complaints about the playground mats include burns on hands and knees from the frequent falls that toddlers (and sometimes older kids) make, what would appropriate clothing be? Long-sleeved shirts, gloves, and jeans? Any weather that would make that an appropriate or marginally healthy outfit would cause the overheating problems. Any weather that makes the black mats hot enough to burn would cause heat stroke in a 2 year old wearing full on "safety from burn" regalia.

It seems like it would be more effective to get some lighter colored mats or material that doesn't heat up enough to sear the skin off of a child's body. The tiny playground behind PS 169 has red, squishy material that doesn't get horrifically hot. There's one option.

It's a playground, and parents or caretakers should be able to expect a certain level of safety. Sure, shoes are just smart (remember the poo? and what about the constant puddles of stagnant water by the water fountain?), but we can't and shouldn't be expected to cover ALL of their skin in case of falls.

We also have a third laminated safety sign hanging from the gate:

This is a more all-encompassing sign that details safety tips like "ropes used for play can cause accidental strangulation" and "if the equipment feels too hot to the touch, it's probably not safe or fun to play on." Enlarge the photo to see the small print about how to "Play it Safe" in your playground.

By the by, the signs are posted on the gate, but inside a gated area. It's not a problem for the ones with large print, but if you want to read the smaller print, you have to enter this area to get close enough. Well, that, or go to the park-side entrance to the playground. The same signs are posted there. I'm glad the signs are finally up; however, it would have been more appropriate if they had gone up in June.

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