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to complain to the playplace my 1yo escaped from today?

(25 Posts)
sootytotherescue Thu 28-Jul-11 14:21:16

I'm going to email the owner of the playplace today as I know her from school and she wasn't on site when this happened, I just wanted to get some perspective before I send anything.

I went to a playplace today that we've been to before with my 3yo and 1yo. We went today as they had a summer fair day and had games on like hook the duck, a treasure hunt and stalls for a few local businesses.

So we get there and it's pretty busy and hot so the front doors that lead directly into a carpark are open. I paid for the dc and then entered the playplace via a magnetic gate which I closed behind me. We found a seat, took both dcs shoes off and went to play with 1yo in baby end. 1yo however wanted to follow her dsis into the bigger end so I took her to our table so I could take my shoes off, whilst I was doing this 1yo ran towards the gate which I then noticed had been left open by a family who had just come in. She ran past 2 members of staff and two adults who were paying and out the open door into the carpark. Thankfully I was straight behind her and caught her before she got onto the road, but thats not really the point. I came in and said to one of the staff that gate should be shut and she sort of half-smiled. I was shaking and went back to my seat to calm down. We played for about half an hour but I couldn't relax worrying about the gate and so left and took them out for lunch instead.

So, is this my fault as I let 1yo wander off while I was taking my shoes off under the impression she was in a secure space or the staff's fault for not ensuring the gate is closed after every customer. I feel sick thinking about what could have happened to my dc or someone elses, I wish I'd complained in person now. sad

BettySwollocksandaCrustyRack Thu 28-Jul-11 14:24:51

YANBU - it is their responsibility to make sure that gate is closed all the time - someone should be watching it like they do at our local play centre. Jeez, the doors open onto the carpark, that could have been a really nasty accident!

Def mail the manager - if she wasnt there she would want to know about this I am sure!

Pelagia Thu 28-Jul-11 14:30:34

If I were the owner, I'd want to know. I think if they are going to have the front doors open, they should have two sets of gates inside. With small children its common sense to have an airlock iyswim. The magnetic gate should have a spring or something that means it shuts straightaway.

Glad she is ok.

utah Thu 28-Jul-11 14:30:55

They are wrong the gates should be secured at all times, but they do have signs saying children are parents responsibility at all times. I would still definitely complain so it does not happen again, horrible feeling when I child escapes/runs.

sootytotherescue Thu 28-Jul-11 14:48:02

So, it seems ianbu and will definitely complain to the manager. Just wondering how to word this as don't want to come across agressive but I want her to know how angry I am.

Fuzzled Thu 28-Jul-11 15:02:21

Maybe say you are aware of the parental responsibility thing, however point out that kids are slippery little blighters grin and that while nothing happened you are very "concerned" that it might happen again with worse results and that staff did not take your concerns seriously at the time.
Suggest (as previous poster mentioned) a 2nd gate while it's hot for the security of all.

I suspect she wouldn't like negative publicity if something did happen!

sootytotherescue Thu 28-Jul-11 15:40:42

Thanks for the tips Fuzzles, email has been sent, now waiting with interest for the reply.

spiderpig8 Thu 28-Jul-11 17:01:53

I'm going to go against the grain here.I am assuming by playplace you mean like a softplay where they do not offer supervision of children.That is the key I'll bet they have signs up saying that parents are responsible for supervising their children and especially at 1 you should have been.I don't understand the comment about the gates being secured at all times.They obviously have to open to let people in and out and that is excatly why you have to watch your children while they are at that age.

BoysAreLikeDogs Thu 28-Jul-11 17:17:40

all softplay places I know have a sort of airlock system with 2 doors and a kind of holding pen in the middle

SoupDragon Thu 28-Jul-11 17:20:29

Personally I think you should have been supervising your child more closely.

You should never assume that other parents have been as vigilant as you, eg by checking the gate has shut behind them.

SoupDragon Thu 28-Jul-11 17:21:16

And if you can't out run a 1 yo you need to do more training grin

kaid100 Thu 28-Jul-11 17:23:35

Yes, you should definitely complain. If they try to play it down, I might suggest showing them this news item from a few years ago.

ChristinedePizan Thu 28-Jul-11 17:23:47

I think you need two gates in soft plays or they need a spring closure so that they shut automatically. Yes you should be watching your child but if you have a bolter, it's very difficult sometimes.

worraliberty Thu 28-Jul-11 17:30:36

Another one here who thinks the gates should have been shut but more importantly you are responsible for your own child's safety.

Most soft play have a cafe area...she could just as easily have run in there and got a hot drink tipped on her.

SoupDragon Thu 28-Jul-11 17:31:58

That story bears no relevance whatsoever to this.

belgo Thu 28-Jul-11 17:34:27

No don't complain. Your child is one year's old, you are responsible for her safety.

I wish there were no 'safety' gates at all at these places, then the parent would be forced to do their job.

sootytotherescue Thu 28-Jul-11 17:47:05

I appreciate the need to be responsible for my own child, but I was literally bent down for a couple of seconds to take my shoes off, nothing more. I saw her move towards the gate which was fine then spotted the gate was left open. She's also a bolter so had to be quick to catch her. I guess my query is if they are going to leave the main doors open because of the heat shouldn't they be carefully supervising the gate and making sure its closed after every customer was through?

worraliberty Thu 28-Jul-11 17:52:45

If you know you've got a bolter, you can always take your shoes off one handed while holding her hand.

I suppose in an ideal world being able to spare a member of staff to open and shut the gate from morning til evening, would be good...but it's just not very feasible.

belgo Thu 28-Jul-11 17:55:19

If you know she's likely to bolt, then you should have been paying constant attention to her. You cannot rely on all other people to shut the gate, which is why I think it's safer not to should have these gates, as I've experienced in Belgium.

southmum Thu 28-Jul-11 18:09:14


Its your responsibility, not theirs. As others have said dont assume that other parents close the gates / doors at these places

headfairy Thu 28-Jul-11 18:13:56

I would complain, yes it's your responsibility to keep an eye on your children, but also it's reasonable for the play place to take steps to ensure greater protection for children, for example by getting a spring loaded gate that swings shut if not closed properly. It is one of my absolute bug bears that people don't shut gates in playgrounds/soft play areas etc. It makes me utterly furious. It's so selfish of people to swan around unaware and frankly not bothered about children other than their own. Yes parents are at best distracted most of the time, but it's a very simple courtesy. I'm probably more distracted than most usually but I remember. If I can do it anyone can!

And breathe!

Iggly Thu 28-Jul-11 18:14:53

Yabu. Your responsibility! Yes they should have shut the gates but you should have held your DC. that's what I do with DS as I know he likes to roam!

reikizen Thu 28-Jul-11 18:15:45

You could certainly make a point about the lax attitude to safety for the benefit of those children whose parents don't give a shit but I would personally take full responsibility for the safety of a 1 year old in a public place. Exhausting but necessary imo.

nailak Thu 28-Jul-11 18:28:05

in a soft play my 2 year old walked out of the ate between under 5s and over 5s, with another family who were openin the ate, and they didnt think to stop her! i was behind her and it wasnt an outside door, but it makes you think, why would you open the door and let a little kid out?

nailak Thu 28-Jul-11 18:30:51

in a soft play my 2 year old walked out of the ate between under 5s and over 5s, with another family who were openin the ate, and they didnt think to stop her! i was behind her and it wasnt an outside door, but it makes you think, why would you open the door and let a little kid out?

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