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DS injured during party - company not bothered

(19 Posts)
YakkaSkink Sat 25-Jun-11 20:36:09

DS (5) was at a birthday party today - one of those all-in packages at a local hotel. One part of the party was bowling and they had side-bars up in the bowling alley to stop the balls going in the gutter.

I was standing right behind him - DS was sitting down to bowl, just pushing the ball as they're too heavy for him to lift. While waiting for the pins to go back up he leaned forward and put his hand into the mechanism for the raised side-bar which collapsed into the floor (for no obvious reason) crushing his finger in a hinge and trapping him. I wasn't strong enough to lift the bar up and free him, but one of the other parents managed to do it. He spent about a minute trapped and screaming before she got him out - no staff about with the hook they use to raise the bars despite lots of shouts of 'help!'.

Blood everywhere, DS very shocked and distressed, deep cut into his finger and thoroughly crushed. After a trip to A&E and an x-ray (no broken bones) and a dressing we'll have to go back to the nurse to get changed.

The Hotel then phones back this evening to get the details for their accident book. I gave the details but asked for some assurances that this wouldn't happen to any other child and they said "Well, it hasn't happened to anyone else" "the rails just kick down for convenience". I think it's very likely to happen to someone else as the side bars are put there for children.

How do I get them to take this seriously?

ChristinedePizan Sat 25-Jun-11 20:41:53

Poor boy sad Sorry, I don't entirely understand what you mean about the side bars. Would adults not want them/would they inconvenience them? I can't really tell if this is one of those freak accidents or whether there is a bit of a design fault, sorry

YakkaSkink Sat 25-Jun-11 20:45:46

The side bars make it easier for children to actually hit the pins - the child doesn't have to be able to bowl straight because the bars stop it rolling off to one side into the gutter; so they only put them up for children or for anyone else who might find it harder to aim accurately.

fluffles Sat 25-Jun-11 20:48:53

in any bowling alley i've been to the gutters are filled with a 'bumper' which is sort of soft like a gymnastics mat.

have never seen a 'kick down' sidebar.

however, it sounds like they may well be inherently unsafe. i would report it to the HSE (if such a thing is possible, think it must be).

ChristinedePizan Sat 25-Jun-11 20:50:58

Oh okay, see what you mean now so that isn't practical to have them fixed really. It's also probably a major, major issue for them to remove them altogether so I think you should write to them (with photos) and suggest they print warnings on them. That's all I think can be done to make it safer. Then at least parents could tell their children not to put their hands into the mechanism before they do rather than after

hocuspontas Sat 25-Jun-11 20:53:46

Well they would have taken it seriously, it's just never happened before. Now they have a record of your ds's injury, and especially if it happens again, I'm sure they will consider whether or not it constitutes a danger to others. Bowling is fraught with possible accidents anyway and they can't protect 100%. Hope your ds is feeling better, it must have been a real shock.

cat64 Sat 25-Jun-11 20:55:32

Message withdrawn

thisisyesterday Sat 25-Jun-11 21:01:28

what do you want them to do?

it was an accident, they've noted down what happened. if only one child has ever done this the whole time they'bve been there then I don't really think it constitutes a huge risk

people are so keen to blame others these days. your son touched something he shouldn't and he got hurt. I'm sorry his injuries were so bad, but it WAS just an accident

Sirzy Sat 25-Jun-11 21:03:08

I thought the same Cat.

You have reported it to them so they can investigate but IMO sometimes it has to come down to the adults supervising using common sense to keep them away from any sort of mechanism which could potentially be a problem to little hands.

Hope he feels better soon.

veritythebrave Sat 25-Jun-11 21:04:06

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Blu Sat 25-Jun-11 21:10:17

I don't think he put his hand somewhere he shouldn't! If these side bars come all the way up the gutters to where you bowl from it was presumably just like a little fence, right there, that he put his hand on? As you might on any rail to the side of you.

It's good that they called so that they could write it up in the accident book. What should happen now is that the management have a look at how this happened and whether it is an ongoing risk. I would write to them , tell them what happened, and ask them what their policy is re reporting accidents, what will happen now that it is on the book, and how will they ensure that this cannot happen again.

I doubt they would have said much on the phone, it may have been quite a junior person calling, and worried to say anything that could be taken down in evidence....

I hope your poor boy recovers quickly, trapping injuries are eeeeee (all shuddery) . A very unpleasant experience for you all.

thisisyesterday Sat 25-Jun-11 21:27:43

well... he put his hand into the mechanism of it.

YakkaSkink Sat 25-Jun-11 22:54:11

I promise I'm being fair and reasonable - I was supervising the boy, I was standing right behind him and he was in the area he should be in but as he couldn't lift the bowling ball, he was sitting down to roll it down the alley. He just put out his hand to touch something that looked like a little hand rail and it instantly collapsed. The parents were mostly sitting on the seats, but the children were crowded together at the top of the alley and I was standing with DS to keep a closer eye. I wouldn't have perceived the thing as a threat and couldn't have stopped him just reaching out in the 1/2 second it took him to do it. I was hoping for some help in trying to get the hotel to take it seriously so it doesn't happen to the next small child who comes along.

veritythebrave Sat 25-Jun-11 23:22:26

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

YakkaSkink Sun 26-Jun-11 08:23:26

No, they came up from the floor like this:

veritythebrave Sun 26-Jun-11 10:17:51

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

pengymum Sun 26-Jun-11 11:02:54

I am sorry to hear about your son's injury. It is upsetting when children are hurt, particularly so when they should be having fun.

I have been to bowling alleys where they have this type of rail and tbh they are a fair distance away where you should be bowling from. The child (or adult) should be behind the line marked and you are warned not to go over it so I don't see why, as you were supervising, you didn't make sure of this. Whenever I have taken small children bowling, I have used the frames that they have to help as well. If the child was pushing the ball from behind the marked line, then I don't see how they could have lost their balance in such a way that mean't falling onto the barriers? It reads from your description (and I may have misunderstood) that your child put their fingers in intentionally.

While the fact that a child has been injured is serious, the circumstances leading up to it do appear to be, from my pov, due to lack of sufficient supervision and foresight/care on your part rather than negligence on the part of the hotel. So I don't see that the hotel can do anything more than they have done really.

thisisyesterday Sun 26-Jun-11 20:24:03

is there not a line you are supposed to stand behind?

you said originally that he (while waiting) leaned forward and put his hand into the mechanism.

he shouldn't really have been anywhere near the barriers.

i think as his parent you need to take some responsibility for what happened instead of blaming it on other people tbh

ragged Sun 26-Jun-11 20:29:18

I think you have a case for better safety notices going up. To warn everyone that the bars are not safe to lean on and that children in particular must be prevented from reaching for the "rails".

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