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to think that there should be some level of staff supervision at soft play

(22 Posts)
KatyS36 Thu 13-Nov-14 16:34:14

Dd is 5. At our local soft play last week some children were behaving in a way that was clearly dangerous to themselves and other children. I alerted a member of staff once I finally found one, and they instantly told them to stop.
I discovered at quite times there is, as policy, absolutely no supervision of the play frames. Their view is that parents are responsible for their children, not them.
When dd was smaller I followed her every where when she was there. As she has got bigger i have reduced the amount I follow her as she is bigger and more responsible. It doesn't seem right that I have to follow a very active five year old at all times. We go there to burn off her energy, not mine!
The centre let an adult take in multiple children, and a large proportion don't supervise their children at all - hence the incident last week.
I feel it should be the centres responsibility to either supervise for grossly inappropriate behaviour, or make sure parents do.

Bulbasaur Thu 13-Nov-14 16:42:21

Parents should have to sign a waiver saying they won't hold the place responsible if their kids get hurt.

I've noticed however that children do have a way of sorting things out themselves. Part of learning their limits is getting a few scrapes and bruises. As long as it doesn't look like they're going to break bones or anything that dangerous (which seems unlikely in a place lined with soft foam), gravity will be teacher enough.

That said, parents should absolutely supervise their children and make sure they're playing nicely with each other. If their child gets hurt, they might want to be there to comfort them and tell them to pick themselves back up.

cleoteacher Thu 13-Nov-14 16:42:36

I often think they should have a member of staff mulling around to make sure older kids don't go in the small childrens area and visa versa as I can get dangerous

. However , staff members supervising play I disagree with you. Why should the soft play centre pay to employ extra staff for that? It's not very fair on them. I don't want to live in a society where parents get away with not supervising their own children. Parents should supervise their child not staff members at soft play.

However, the problem is lots of parents don't when they should. How the soft play centre could force them too other than having polite reminders around the place I don't know.

I supervise my ds but find I don't need to follow him like a shadow, apart from during his hitting stage! I check on him every so often and try and sit in an area where I can always keep an eye on him.

fairylightsintheloft Thu 13-Nov-14 16:46:56

This can't possibly work. It would be a minefield of conflict and blurred lines of responsiblity. It is perfectly reasonable for parents to responsible for their child's behaviour and to be keeping enough of an eye out that you would be aware if they were behaving badly. It depends a bit on the actual layout but in most of them you can see the kids through the equipment most of the time so you don't have to follow them around. The only thing they SHOULD be able (and do) do is to tell a family to leave if the behaviour is repeatedly bad and they child is refusing to follow instructions given by the parent or if the parent won't discipline the child. They are within their rights to do this but I don't think you could have a member of staff in each section "policing" it.

grocklebox Thu 13-Nov-14 16:47:47

Only if you want to pay about 4 times more for entry. Teens on minimum wage are hardly going to supervise the children....

Stampysladygarden Thu 13-Nov-14 16:49:04

Entry prices would go up to cover additional staff to have eyes everywhere.

Every soft play I have ever been to makes it abundantly clear parental supervision is required at all times.

Plus it is likely an insurance condition to make parents aware they are in sole charge and not staff.

dashoflime Thu 13-Nov-14 16:51:03

I think YABU.

You should think of soft play as a sort of indoor park. Give your kids the same level of supervision you would think was appropriate on an outdoor climbing frame.

If kids are playing up, you just have to try and sort it out with their parents or, as someone said upthread, leave the kids to sort it out amongst themselves.

wheresthelight Thu 13-Nov-14 16:53:20

we have to sign a waiver at ours that says as a parent we agree to take full responsibility for the supervision of our kids.

however I definitely get the rage with the mum's who completely ignore their kids and allow them to run riot. I regularly have to throw kids 6 years up put of the baby area and then the parents wonder why their little darlings come back sulking about the nasty lady

Aeroflotgirl Thu 13-Nov-14 16:53:35

Yabu, your kids your responsibility. If you think it will be too tiring, don't take them.

KatyS36 Thu 13-Nov-14 16:53:36

The behaviour could have led to broken bones or if really unlucky a fatality.
My issue is that they have absolutely no supervision as policy.
I don't want them to supervise my child. I'm happy to do that at an age appropriate level. The problem is other children behaving dangerously and neither their parents or the centre monitoring this

FoxSticks Thu 13-Nov-14 16:59:06

You can supervise your child without following them I think. In the places we go you can see your child most of the time unless you are on your phone all the time. My four week old, who I was holding, got hit by a five year old the other day. I was trying to help my daughter who was crying at the time because she'd just been hit by the same boy. I told him to be careful - he didn't even acknowledge me let alone apologise. I guessed which parent was his, the dad reading his paper and not even bothering to look up when kids were crying to make sure his children weren't involved. I was right as well.

dashoflime Thu 13-Nov-14 16:59:34

Katy What did you do though?
Did you point it out to the parents or the staff?

If the kids were really badly behaved/violent, the parents refused to do anything and the staff didn't remove the family when made aware of it then I can see your point.

If your saying that the staff should have just been around and stopped the situation from happening at all then I can't.

HSMMaCM Thu 13-Nov-14 17:04:03

The staff didn't need to supervise or stop the children, but they could ask the parents to leave for not supervising their children.

KatyS36 Thu 13-Nov-14 17:29:54

Thanks everyone. I was thinking soft play was a bit like a swimming pool, ie I am responsible for my child but there are other staff there ie lifeguards to ensure general acceptable behaviour.
Obviously it's not like that, despite being more expensive. Lesson learnt

AesSedai Thu 13-Nov-14 17:37:23

And how many rows would there be when the play supervisor told off a precious child and the parent took offense? I should think there would be mayhem.

KatyS36 Thu 13-Nov-14 18:05:58

Interesting point aessedai but this happens all the time at swimming pools!

HedgehogsDontBite Thu 13-Nov-14 18:45:52

As others have said, I just wish they'd supervise enougi to keep the older kids out of the baby area. Our local soft play is massive, a whole warehouse full. The baby bit is tiny by comparison and completely seperate. There's no need for the hoards of older children to rampage around like they do.

mummymeister Thu 13-Nov-14 18:47:56

the statistics on the safety of water versus the safety of a soft play area are whats important here. Lifeguards are there not just for kids but adults who have heart attacks cramp etc. any of these things that incapacitate you in the water will cause you to drown and die. this wouldn't happen if you had a heart attack in a soft play area. sorry YABU. who would want the job of working in a soft play area and telling the naughty kids off and have to face the wrath of the parents who don't believe it.

Bulbasaur Thu 13-Nov-14 18:51:48

Yes, but at pools if you don't follow safety, you could die.

Soft play, you might end up with a bumped head.

Bit of a difference.

Bulbasaur Thu 13-Nov-14 18:52:17

X Post - Mummymeister

KatyS36 Thu 13-Nov-14 19:37:05

What threw me was the actions i witnessed could have lead to a fatality. It is true that what happened is very unusual - I believe the staff had never seen it before.
I have decided that I probably abu, but I've decided that there are better places to take dd.

Thank you

fairylightsintheloft Thu 13-Nov-14 21:00:01

I'd love to know if there has ever been a fatality at a soft play caused by child on child behaviour! I work as a lifeguard. The dangers of a pool environment are huge. Even out of the water you have slippery surfaces, hard floors that COULD with no bad behaviour at all cause a pretty bad injury to head or limb. In the water you can have kids aged 8+ in the water without a parent, asthma, heart conditions, panic attacks. There is no comparison between the two. I think you are being just a teeny it hysterical about the risks. Its a padded park essentially and as safe as it can possibly be.

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