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To ask what you'd do in response to this?

(68 Posts)
HOHOHOvariesBeforeBrovaries Wed 21-Dec-16 15:12:35

This is very outing (and very long) but kudos if you make it to the end.

DD fell and hurt herself a couple of weeks ago. Toddlers fall all the time, it's a fact of life, but the reason she hurt herself quite so badly was due to the layout of the park she was on at the time. The park is accessed via an astroturf ramp; this gets slippy, there aren't railings or anything to get up the ramp, and the gate opens outwards so you have to sort of edge around it on the ramp (hard to explain).

DD slipped off the astroturf ramp and cut her forehead open on a jagged piece of metal that hadn't been sanded down, connecting the gate to a fence post. Lots of blood, big panic, stuck back together, she's ok now. The hospital and several other people told us we should get in touch with the shopping centre where the park is - some were saying we should sue, others saying to make a complaint. Once we'd recovered from the shock a little I sent an email over just letting them know what happened, but the letter was polite and I stated, "we don't want this to seem like an official complaint because we love the park, it's made shopping much easier and we don't want to risk it being shut down/removed due to health and safety, we just wanted to let you know in case you can sand it down or move the astroturf ramp to make it safer for little ones going forwards". We acknowledged that she's a toddler, accidents happen, kids fall, it was just this design flaw that made the injuries particularly bad, and made it clear we had no intention of suing because she's a kid, kids fall over, you can't sue someone every time your kids fall over. It's a new park, so it's not as though it's been there for years and years without incident before.

I had a polite response back from the manager quite quickly, saying they couldn't see what had caused the issue, did I have any pictures etc. I sent pictures over of the jagged bit and I've heard nothing since, no acknowledgment etc but I thought maybe they're looking into getting it sanded down before they reply (he said they'd respond once I sent over pictures).

One of our friends works in one of the coffee shops in the shopping centre and knew all about what happened, and told us that he spoke to the manager the other day and asked what was going to happen. Apparently the manager was very dismissive and said "If they took better care of their child, it wouldn't have happened".

DP was right next to DD, watching her, when it happened. She slipped and he just wasn't quick enough to catch her.

If he'd sent me an email saying "There's nothing we can do but thanks for the feedback", fine. If he'd sent an email saying "It looks like it was just an accident", fine. To not respond to our email but criticise our parenting when he didn't even witness what happened? I alternate between being angry and being a bit apathetic really, which is why I'm posting here.

Part of me wants to just shrug my shoulders and say if you want to run your business that way, go for it, and just vote with our feet and not return (we're in a honeymoon/it's almost Christmas/generally happy bubble at the moment which may account for being quite laid back about what is actually quite a horrible thing for a stranger to say) - but part of me is quite hurt and angry, and wants to send an email to say that we're aware of what has been said (but I don't want to drop our friend in it!) and we would appreciate any criticisms of our parenting to be directed to us rather than spoken about behind our backs, particularly when we've been so calm and polite in our email.

Sorry, this is SO long-winded. Please be gentle, I don't want to kick up a fuss but I do want him to realise that it's unprofessional and unfair to say that if you see what I mean?

5000candlesinthewind Wed 21-Dec-16 15:16:26

I think you started off to soft in your original letter. They caused your child to seriously hurt herself, don't apologise for them.

Their attitude is shocking. I would definitely take it further

Floralnomad Wed 21-Dec-16 15:16:45

I would do nothing , you have this comment second hand and if he did say it he would probably deny it so what's the point , your friend may have misheard / misunderstood what he said .

Bluntness100 Wed 21-Dec-16 15:16:55

Oh no don't drop your friend in it, that would be a really shit thing to do.

I would however chase the manager for a response.

DearSantaDefineGood Wed 21-Dec-16 15:20:03

I am usually of the opinion that accidents happen. But a children's play area should be a safe environment for children to play. The fact it's not shows a breach of health and safety. That would be enough for me to place an official complaint. The manager discussing the incident with someone else and being derogatory about my parenting would be enough for me to take further action purely out of principle. It makes it seem like the manager doesn't care about what happened and that's not acceptable. They need to take it seriously so it doesn't happen again to another child. Glad your DD is ok now.

HOHOHOvariesBeforeBrovaries Wed 21-Dec-16 15:20:10

FWIW my friend was absolutely certain and I have no reason to not believe him; he usually has a very good relationship with the centre manager but was shocked at what he said.

That's the big thing stopping me Bluntness, I'd feel horrendous if I got him into trouble. I don't know if I could keep myself calm enough to write a civil email to him this time!

SortAllTheThings Wed 21-Dec-16 15:20:35

Is it on the property of the shopping centre or is it a council run play ground? Not sure if it makes any difference, but I would contact the council and make them aware. No idea if it's the right approach, but it's what I'd probably do. It sounds like a crappy design that needs fixing.

HOHOHOvariesBeforeBrovaries Wed 21-Dec-16 15:22:51

It's on the property of the shopping centre Sort.

It was a really unfortunate accident that DD fell onto this jagged bit, but the fact that it's happened to one person is proof that it could happen to others. It missed her eye by a few inches and doesn't bear thinking about the alternative.

I can't get my head around it; why he wouldn't just accept the feedback and say okay, thanks for letting us know?

5000candlesinthewind Wed 21-Dec-16 15:23:20

You can still persue your complaint without bringing your friend in to it

Floralnomad Wed 21-Dec-16 15:26:05

I'm not saying you shouldn't follow up on the incident just don't mention what he allegedly said to your friend , remain professional in your dealings with them.

Mrsmorton Wed 21-Dec-16 15:28:18

I hate hearing things like this second hand but I've decided to actually not believe people anymore after hearing the "first hand" followed by the totally made up "second hand".

If he's your actual friend, I'm surprised he thought it would be helpful to tell you that but you've said you've no reason to disbelieve him.

You should follow it up to ask what has been done as I agree it should be a safe space.

Blossomdeary Wed 21-Dec-16 15:30:43

Maybe follow up the response but not comment on what was said to your friend (irritating though this was). I think you should push it a bit, pointing out that you have heard nothing since you sent the photos and that the danger is still there. You might suggest that the Environmental Health department should be involved. e.g. "I am sure you will be contacting the Environmental Health Department for advice as to how you might make this safer."

Children's play areas should be made as safe as possible - this was not a minor thing - she needed hospital outpatient care. Your intervention might prevent another child finishing up in this situation.

SortAllTheThings Wed 21-Dec-16 15:37:02

Environmental health sounds like the way to go. Have you got pictures of the dangerous part of the playground, and of your child's injuries?

HOHOHOvariesBeforeBrovaries Wed 21-Dec-16 15:51:58

Yes we've got pictures thankfully.

I've sent an email just asking for an update, will see what sort of response we get before deciding next steps. I hate the thought of any little ones going through what DD did, she's only 2 and it was horrible to witness. DP has been having flashbacks every now and then sad

babyblabber Wed 21-Dec-16 17:24:49

If you don't get a response or don't get a satisfactory response I would definitely go back with a strong formal complaint, threatening legal action if the area isn't made safe. You don't have to follow through with it (although you probably could, particularly if your DD might be left with a scar) but at least you might force them into action.

lovelearning Wed 21-Dec-16 17:56:21

DD fell onto this jagged bit
It missed her eye by a few inches
horrible to witness
DP has been having flashbacks

HOHOHOvariesBeforeBrovaries, consider engaging a personal injury lawyer.

A lawsuit might also focus the shopping centre's attention on their health and safety failings.

TobleroneBoo Wed 21-Dec-16 18:07:10

This is a public liability situation. I would pursue it, whether you would like compensation or not ( I know you haven't mentioned it) they should have insurance for these situations. It could have happened before now, but you could force them into taking measures to prevent it happening again. Hope your DD is ok

HOHOHOvariesBeforeBrovaries Wed 21-Dec-16 18:23:42

I'm wary of talking to a solicitor in case people think we're Daily Mail sad-facing it, especially if we went down the personal injury route. Is there any other way we could pursue it (obviously if they don't give us a satisfactory response by email) that wouldn't make it look like we're out to bleed them dry?

ohfourfoxache Wed 21-Dec-16 18:30:30

Would it be worth contacting the council? If it's a new centre then someone there must have signed off that building work etc was safe?

Don't drop this, the next child may not be so lucky sad

HOHOHOvariesBeforeBrovaries Wed 21-Dec-16 18:33:26

The shopping centre has been open for years, it's just the park that's a new addition. Not sure the council would want anything to do with it, they're not the best sad

babyblabber Wed 21-Dec-16 19:40:35

Don't worry about daily mail sad facing.

Your daughter is entitled to be compensated for the injury if they were negligent. That's why they have insurance. It's different to a frivolous claim or just being money grabbing. And it would force them to make the park safe and prevent it happening to another child.

awayinamazda Wed 21-Dec-16 20:29:07

Could be worth asking ROSPA whether they can encourage the playground owner to take responsibilit

ChampagneTastes Wed 21-Dec-16 20:35:49

Sue. A child was injured and more will be unless you do. Money is the only language some people speak. Give it to charity if you feel bad.

TheGnomeMobile1 Wed 21-Dec-16 23:58:35

Get in touch with the HSE.

DJBaggySmalls Thu 22-Dec-16 00:17:20

I'd buy a tube of chemical metal and put a good blob over the sharp bit. Its an odd kind of glue.

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