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  #1  
Old 05-29-2010, 04:50 AM
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Default Plastic Slides Danger in Hot Weather

http://www.kcci.com/news/23712674/detail.html
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Old 05-29-2010, 05:30 AM
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OMG!!! How awful!!!!
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Old 05-29-2010, 06:32 AM
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KCCI really dropped the ball on this. They didn't even discuss that the child shouldn't have been on the equipment in the first place. 18 month old children should not be ON equipment with that high of a fall zone. It's not designed for babies and toddlers.

Secondly the child should have never been on the equipment unsupervised. It is obvous from the providers own words that she wasn't spotting this baby on the equipment.

Thirdly: It is the providers responsiblility to CHECK the temperature of ALL outdoor equipment before a child plays on it or near it. That means checking the temp of it with your bare hands and your bare feet for surfacing. You should always place your hand on it for at least five seconds to test the exterior temperature.

Fourth: Plastic DOES heat up. Any slick surface can heat up in direct sunlight. Simple rule of thumb... if it is slick it can heat up.

Fifth: The Mom doesn't even GET that her provider is first and foremost responsible for this. She doesn't understand the four points above. She doesn't get it NOW but she will soon enough when the Department of Human Services intervenes with a child neglect investigation.

This is a perfect example of providers believing if the parent says or thinks what they did is okay then it's okay. This parent has NO clue that she doesn't have a thing to say about whether or not this will be a founded case of child neglect with possible criminal charges. The parent and provider are sitting side by side on the tape discussing the danger of the hot slide.... with the parent being none the wiser that the provider was RESPONSIBLE to not allow the child on equipment not safety approved for her age, not allow the child to climb without direct proximal supervision and "spotting", and not allowed to allow children on equipment without assessing FULLY the safety of the equipment BEFORE allowing a child on it.

Parents can not give you permission to do the wrong thing. Parents can't forgive you for doing the wrong thing and keep the insurer of the child, DHS or the County Attorney from filing charges on you.

The provider and parents are a team now but they won't be in a few weeks. Once the parent "buys a vowel" she will figure out that the provider shouldn't have had the kid on there in the first place and is required by law to CAREFULLY supervise all children all the time. If she couldn't manage her "group" of children at the park and give them the supervision they needed then she shouldn't have stepped foot into the park.

The DHS and County Attorney need to shut this provider down TO-DAY. The parents of the other children in care (if there are) must be notified that pending a full investigation that this provider can not provide child care services. The investigation will be pretty darn easy since the provider herself stated ON TAPE she was not in close proximity to the child and allowed the child to climb on equipment that is not designed for that age group.
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Old 05-29-2010, 08:31 AM
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well the spokesperson for the park wouldn't comment due to pending investigation. I would assume they were investigating the daycare provider right?
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Old 05-29-2010, 09:39 AM
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well the spokesperson for the park wouldn't comment due to pending investigation. I would assume they were investigating the daycare provider right?
Parks Department is interested in whether or not the equipment meets safety standards. They can't possibly eliminate every stupid thing somebody is going to do on City property.

My guess is the Parks Department will insist a DHS investigation begin. They won't take a stand until their buddies at the DHS and the Polk County District Attorney's office has their way with the Provider.
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Old 05-29-2010, 10:53 AM
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I completely agree Nanny that there needs to be some accountability on the providers part....she certainly was neglectful.

I don't know that it warrants her being closed down though. Sure, a validated complaint goes in her public file for parents to check prior to enrolling children, and if there is ever another incident of neglect documented and proven, then she should be closed. Honestly though, who among us feels the temperarture of any playground equipment, every time we get ready to use it, with our bare hands AND feet? And who would ever think that the temperature of a slide would get to 163 degrees and cause burns like that? Sure, you realize they get hot, but not THAT hot.

It certainly is also the responsibility of the parks department to ensure that equipment they provide to the public, unsupervised by the parks dept. themselves, is safe for the people who are most likely to use it, and that would be small children.

I also think there needs to be some accountability on the manufactuer of the slide if there was no clear, written warning provided when the equipment was released for sale.

Sad situation. I hope the little girl fully recovers.
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Old 05-29-2010, 12:04 PM
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I completely agree Nanny that there needs to be some accountability on the providers part....she certainly was neglectful.

I don't know that it warrants her being closed down though. Sure, a validated complaint goes in her public file for parents to check prior to enrolling children, and if there is ever another incident of neglect documented and proven, then she should be closed. Honestly though, who among us feels the temperarture of any playground equipment, every time we get ready to use it, with our bare hands AND feet? And who would ever think that the temperature of a slide would get to 163 degrees and cause burns like that? Sure, you realize they get hot, but not THAT hot.

It certainly is also the responsibility of the parks department to ensure that equipment they provide to the public, unsupervised by the parks dept. themselves, is safe for the people who are most likely to use it, and that would be small children.

I also think there needs to be some accountability on the manufactuer of the slide if there was no clear, written warning provided when the equipment was released for sale.

Sad situation. I hope the little girl fully recovers.
I disagree. It is every providers responsibility to assess the safety of any equipment the child will be using before they use it. This includes a visual inspection to assure there isn't anything that can catch the child's clothes, cut the child, entrapment hazards, etc. An assesment of the AGE appropriateness is crucial. Children should not be on equipment that has a fall zone inappropriate for their ages. This equipment was COMPLETELY inappropriate for this child.

The temperature of ANYTHING touching the children should be checked before the child has access. This includes playground equipment and surfacing. I live right next to a city park that we use for the children. It is very simple to check the equiment and test for the temperature. It takes SECONDS to do this. I pop my shoes off and walk thru the sand. I put my hands directly on the surface for about five seconds of the slide and any metal the children will come in contact with. I go THRU the climbing equipment BEFORE I allow the kids on it.

The whole checking process takes a couple of minutes to check the area for safety. I use the same park over and over so I know the equipment. The way I judge it is by the high temperature of the day. If it is over sixty degrees outside the temperature of the equipment could harm the kids. These are the days we are particularly vigilent about checking all of the areas of the play structure, the asphalt on the tennis court, the poles, the swing set seats, the ride on spring toys etc.

The visual inspection is also very important. The provider needs to check for broken glass, garbage, and any debris in the area. When we go into the tennis courts we go along the permiter of the fencing and check for anything that could harm the kids.

We have the kids trained to stand next to the strollers while holding onto them while we check. They do not move until we give them the okay. We park the strollers adjacent to whatever equipment we are going to use and have the kids connected to the strollers with "tot a longs" so they can't go astray. The whole time we are checking we are also watching the children and the activity around them.

It's a very simple process that insures that anything they come in contact with will not harm them. It takes training the children to be patient while you do a survey. A few minutes of their play time is worth the precaution. Once you get used to doing it you will be able to size things up very quickly.

I do think she should be shut down and charges filed. She not only allowed this child access to equipment that was too hot but she allowed a young toddler unsupervised access to a fall zone that was VERY VERY unsafe. If you stop the tape and look at the equipment you will see that there was a substantial height from the poles on the side at the top of the slide to the ground. She could have fallen off of the side of that and broken her neck, back, or worse... died. The provider didn't even CONSIDER that. She left her there without spotting her. She shouldn't have allowed the kid on that equipment without physically holding onto her at all times.

She doesn't know what she is doing. It is NOT safe for children to be in her care. Even after the tradgedy she didn't have the capapbility to realize the child shouldn't have been on the equipment at ALL. She talked about the amount of time the child was on it being injured NOT that she shouldn't have been on there for ONE SECOND without direct physical supervision.

If you don't understand how to keep children safe in your care you shouldn't be caring for children at all. This wasn't a case where the child walked by the slide and touched it and got burnt. This was a case where an unsupervised baby was on a very high and hot surface with no adult to protect her.

To me, this is absolute common sense. It's basic child care 101.
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Old 05-29-2010, 12:30 PM
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I agree with you totally, Nannyde.
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Old 05-29-2010, 01:49 PM
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Parks Department is interested in whether or not the equipment meets safety standards. They can't possibly eliminate every stupid thing somebody is going to do on City property.

My guess is the Parks Department will insist a DHS investigation begin. They won't take a stand until their buddies at the DHS and the Polk County District Attorney's office has their way with the Provider.
Do you live in Des Moines?My husband and myself just spent last weekend in Des Moines- I am in Cedar Rapids.
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Old 05-29-2010, 02:13 PM
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edited by nannyde

Last edited by nannyde; 05-30-2010 at 09:41 AM. Reason: nannyde
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Old 05-29-2010, 05:24 PM
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Here's some info I found on http://www.dhs.state.ia.us/consumers...hildabuse.html I'm thinking that this would probably fall under denial of critical care under the last requirement (I put it in red) - if not for the temperature of the equipment, for allowing a child to use playground equipment that was inappropriate for her age. I'm not a lawyer or anything so I could be wrong about all this.

What is Child Abuse under Iowa Law?

The Department of Human Services has the legal authority to conduct an assessment of child abuse when it is alleged that:

•The victim is a child.
•The child is subjected to one or more of the eight categories of child abuse defined in Iowa Code section 232.68:
◦Physical abuse
◦Mental injury
◦Sexual abuse
◦Child prostitution
◦Presence of illegal drugs
◦Denial of critical care
◦Manufacturing or possession of a dangerous substanced (defined in Iowa Code 232.2)
◦Bestiality in the presence of a child
•The abuse is the result of the acts or omissions of the person responsible for the care of the child.

A perpetrator of child abuse must be a person responsible for the care of a child. A person responsible for the care of a child is defined in Iowa Code 232.68 as:

a. Parent, guardian, or foster parent.
b. A relative or any other person with whom the child resides and who assumes care or supervision of the child, without reference to the length of time or continuity of such residence.
c. An employee or agent of any public or private facility providing care for a child, including an institution, hospital, health care facility, group home, mental health center, residential treatment center, shelter care facility, detention center, or child care facility.
d. Any person providing care for a child, but with whom the child does not reside, without reference to the duration of the care."


A person who assumes responsibility for the care or supervision of the child may assume such responsibility through verbal or written agreement, or implicitly through the willing assumption of the care-taking role.

Denial of critical care includes the following eight sub-categories:


•Failure to provide adequate food and nutrition to such an extent that there is danger of the child suffering injury or death.

•Failure to provide adequate shelter to such an extent that there is danger of the child suffering injury or death.

•Failure to provide adequate clothing to such an extent that there is danger of the child suffering injury or death.

•Failure to provide adequate health care to such an extent that there is danger of the child suffering serious injury or death.

•Failure to provide the mental health care necessary to adequately treat an observable and substantial impairment in the child's ability to function.

•Gross failure to meet the emotional needs of the child necessary for normal development evidenced by the presence of an observable and substantial impairment in the child's ability to function within the normal range of performance and behavior.

•Failure to provide proper supervision of a child which a reasonable and prudent person would exercise under similar facts and circumstances, to such an extent that there is danger of the child suffering injury or death.
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Old 05-29-2010, 08:02 PM
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Yikes, how absolutely scary! Thanks Nanny for sharing this! I always check slides and swings before any of my dc kids get on...I will make sure to double and triple check now though!
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Old 05-29-2010, 08:47 PM
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Yikes, how absolutely scary! Thanks Nanny for sharing this! I always check slides and swings before any of my dc kids get on...I will make sure to double and triple check now though!
How very sad for this poor little girl.

I always do a visual insoection of the equipment and surrounding area but I have to admit that don't always do a heat check every single time I typically only check it based on the temperature outside BUT from now on I will check every time!

I agree that when the sh.. hits the fan and the mom buys a vowel (I love that!) she will no longer be on the same team as the provider.

I still can't believe 163 degrees! That's insane!!!
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Old 05-29-2010, 09:17 PM
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Wow, how scary. Just a reminder to us that take care of children every day to always be dilligent about safety, even in the everyday routine things. Thanks for posting.
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Old 05-30-2010, 12:17 AM
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I completely agree Nanny that there needs to be some accountability on the providers part....she certainly was neglectful.

I don't know that it warrants her being closed down though. Sure, a validated complaint goes in her public file for parents to check prior to enrolling children, and if there is ever another incident of neglect documented and proven, then she should be closed. Honestly though, who among us feels the temperarture of any playground equipment, every time we get ready to use it, with our bare hands AND feet? And who would ever think that the temperature of a slide would get to 163 degrees and cause burns like that? Sure, you realize they get hot, but not THAT hot.

It certainly is also the responsibility of the parks department to ensure that equipment they provide to the public, unsupervised by the parks dept. themselves, is safe for the people who are most likely to use it, and that would be small children.

I also think there needs to be some accountability on the manufactuer of the slide if there was no clear, written warning provided when the equipment was released for sale.

Sad situation. I hope the little girl fully recovers.
surprise, surprise - i agree.

i've never felt the equipment with my own kids or anyone else's. i guess i'm irresponsible.

i used to slide down metal slides when i was a kid, and they got HOT - but i'd never assume a plastic slide would be dangerously hot.

i'm glad the mom is being rational. that's what's so messed up about our world today - everyone is sue happy. my stepdad and i were talking about this the other day. kids used to play outside all day long and if they wandered off, a neighbor would call or send them home. today - let someone catch your kid on the porch while u watch them through the window and you'll be facing child neglect charges cus you weren't close enough for them to smell your breath.

plastic slides can get dangerously hot. OKAY - lesson learned.
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Old 05-30-2010, 08:39 AM
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Nannede- This whole article was in our morning paper. Thanks so much for sharing!!
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Old 05-30-2010, 09:38 AM
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surprise, surprise - i agree.

i've never felt the equipment with my own kids or anyone else's. i guess i'm irresponsible.

i used to slide down metal slides when i was a kid, and they got HOT - but i'd never assume a plastic slide would be dangerously hot.

i'm glad the mom is being rational. that's what's so messed up about our world today - everyone is sue happy. my stepdad and i were talking about this the other day. kids used to play outside all day long and if they wandered off, a neighbor would call or send them home. today - let someone catch your kid on the porch while u watch them through the window and you'll be facing child neglect charges cus you weren't close enough for them to smell your breath.

plastic slides can get dangerously hot. OKAY - lesson learned.
Nah she's not being rational about it. She's already contacted the city and has made a legal "claim". She just doens't GET that the provider is at fault yet. She will as soon as the City and the DHS let her know.

This is a really good learning experience for providers. Never believe that just because the parent isn't upset at you when something first happens that your libility ends with the parents take on an accident. The parent doesn't have a thing to say about what the DHS will do or the County Attorney will do as far as filing charges. If anything, legal action against the City will force the hands of the City to at least disperse accountability financially. The Provider will be first in line.
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Old 05-30-2010, 09:41 AM
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Nah she's not being rational about it. She's already contacted the city and has made a legal "claim". She just doens't GET that the provider is at fault yet. She will as soon as the City and the DHS let her know.

This is a really good learning experience for providers. Never believe that just because the parent isn't upset at you when something first happens that your libility ends with the parents take on an accident. The parent doesn't have a thing to say about what the DHS will do or the County Attorney will do as far as filing charges. If anything, legal action against the City will force the hands of the City to at least disperse accountability financially. The Provider will be first in line.
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Nannede- This whole article was in our morning paper. Thanks so much for sharing!!
do you have a link
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Old 05-30-2010, 09:51 AM
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In reading that article I'm not sure that the daycare provider was HER daycare provider.


"I ran over there and she was on there for less than a minute and I went over and by the time I got over to her she actually lost it and went down and that's how she got the burn on her stomach," said Kerry Welch, a day-care provider who helped Madyson."

A daycare provider, not necessarily HER daycare provider. The article goes on to say:

"Her baby sitter took her to the hospital, where Madyson was met by her mom"

Her babysitter may be a 16 year old for all we know...
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Old 05-30-2010, 10:09 AM
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In reading that article I'm not sure that the daycare provider was HER daycare provider.


"I ran over there and she was on there for less than a minute and I went over and by the time I got over to her she actually lost it and went down and that's how she got the burn on her stomach," said Kerry Welch, a day-care provider who helped Madyson."

A daycare provider, not necessarily HER daycare provider. The article goes on to say:

"Her baby sitter took her to the hospital, where Madyson was met by her mom"

Her babysitter may be a 16 year old for all we know...
Yeah see they changed that around a few times from the teaser they did on the newscast... to the newscast.. to the six o'clock version of the newscast... to the online video of it.... to the online news report of it. It IS impossible to tell. The first promo they did a few hours before the news stated that "hear what Madyson's Mom and babysitter" had to say.

I wrote a post about that in their comments section.

Considering their ONLY angle was the slide and the slides hotness it would make sense that they only discussed what the provider did in reference to the hottness. Who knows though.

Your theory might be right too.. if the provider was a minor they wouldn't have brought up the name.

They were evasive about a lot of it or they just have crappy reporting. They just said she was playing at the park.. didn't say she was at the park with her day care provider. The only hint she was with the day care provider was them saying the day care provider helped and and her day care provider took her to the hospital.
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Old 05-30-2010, 10:15 AM
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http://www.theindychannel.com/news/23738507/detail.html
Here's another article on on the same story. I think it makes it more clear that the woman interviewed is the babysitter. I still don't think that the burns themselves make this provider irresponsible. I usually check equipment for temperature but I can understand why not everyone would think about diong this. There is an expectation that equipment built specifically for children would be safe for children to play on. I am concerned, however, that a child this young was on equipment this high without a spotter.
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Old 05-30-2010, 10:32 AM
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http://www.thebostonchannel.com/news...07/detail.html

This article states the babysitter Welch took child to the hospital.
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Old 05-30-2010, 10:46 AM
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http://www.theindychannel.com/news/23738507/detail.html
Here's another article on on the same story. I think it makes it more clear that the woman interviewed is the babysitter. I still don't think that the burns themselves make this provider irresponsible. I usually check equipment for temperature but I can understand why not everyone would think about diong this. There is an expectation that equipment built specifically for children would be safe for children to play on. I am concerned, however, that a child this young was on equipment this high without a spotter.
This is why this is a good topic. Providers can't assume something is safe. A good rule of thumb in caring for kids is to check first. When you are feeding a bottle.. check the temp.. When you are serving milk... check the milk by smelling and tasting it.. when you are serving hot food.. stir it and then TASTE it. When you are walking the kids down the sidewalk.. check ahead to make sure there is nothing that blocking the sidewalk that they can trip on. And on and on...

We have to do these thngs to keep the kids safe. It's our job to question any surface they come into contact with whether they are touching it, walking over it, ingesting it.. whatever.
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Old 05-30-2010, 12:49 PM
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This is why this is a good topic. Providers can't assume something is safe. A good rule of thumb in caring for kids is to check first. When you are feeding a bottle.. check the temp.. When you are serving milk... check the milk by smelling and tasting it.. when you are serving hot food.. stir it and then TASTE it. When you are walking the kids down the sidewalk.. check ahead to make sure there is nothing that blocking the sidewalk that they can trip on. And on and on...

We have to do these thngs to keep the kids safe. It's our job to question any surface they come into contact with whether they are touching it, walking over it, ingesting it.. whatever.
I just meant that, legally speaking, while I can definately see allowing a young child to play on equipment inappropriate for her age would fall into the definition of denial of critical care that I posted, I'm not sure that not thinking about checking temperature would fit into that definition - yet.

Honestly, I think child care providers are going to be a lot more likely to check temperature of playground equipment than parents because child care providers, in general, have more experience dealing with these types of issues. I think that parents and new child care providers sometimes find these things out the hard way, which is why I'm glad that KCCI reported on this event, even if they did drop the ball in some aspects.
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Old 05-30-2010, 01:47 PM
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An 18 month old should not have been sliding & let alone on her stomach on equipment that high or hot (equipment openly sitting underneath the baking sun medal or not) unsupervised. I still, would've never guessed 163 degrees though. Poor baby
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Old 05-31-2010, 06:47 AM
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do you have a link
I will see if it is online for everyone to see here as well. I hope it is.
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Old 05-31-2010, 09:54 AM
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I agree that the child should have never been on that slide but must agree with Crystal that I'm not sure that she would get shut down because if this. If she is in fact the child's "childcare provider" and is registered or licensed then for sure she would get a citation and licensing will be up her rear for a good long time. She may have to take some extra training or re-take the prventative safety class (if she is required to do it in the first place).

Of course regulations vary from state to state so some states may be more strict than others. For example, in our county a few years back we had a provider who had a crock-pot on and a toddler pulled on the cord and dumped some of it on herself and was also burned badly on her arm, hand and a leg I think. Maybe her side also if I remember correctly. She did get a violation (I can't remember what degree) and had to take some classes and Licensing was at her daycare at least 1-2 times a month (usually it's about 1 every year or two). She didn't get shut down but I know that the violation she received is serious enough that she was required to tell all of the other parents about it and any new clients she may sign up need to be notified. She now has to explain what happened to any potential clients of the incident and if she doesn't then it's a class A violation.

If the woman watching the little girl was just a person watching the child for the day or just a "babysitter", or not required to register or become licensed then unfortunately I doubt that anything serious would be done to her. Her parents may wise up and sue her civilly, because I agree that if you are taking care of a child she is your responsibility no matter what, but CPS involvement seems unlikely in this case. If it were the mother of the child that had been at the park instead I doubt that even then CPS would rush to her and interrogate her. The claim that is pending now on the park system sounds to me like the parent wants to sue the city and seems highly unlikely that she'll win but the city may just settle to keep their own costs down. It's sad how the system works.
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Old 05-31-2010, 11:09 AM
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I agree that the child should have never been on that slide but must agree with Crystal that I'm not sure that she would get shut down because if this. If she is in fact the child's "childcare provider" and is registered or licensed then for sure she would get a citation and licensing will be up her rear for a good long time. She may have to take some extra training or re-take the prventative safety class (if she is required to do it in the first place).

Of course regulations vary from state to state so some states may be more strict than others. For example, in our county a few years back we had a provider who had a crock-pot on and a toddler pulled on the cord and dumped some of it on herself and was also burned badly on her arm, hand and a leg I think. Maybe her side also if I remember correctly. She did get a violation (I can't remember what degree) and had to take some classes and Licensing was at her daycare at least 1-2 times a month (usually it's about 1 every year or two). She didn't get shut down but I know that the violation she received is serious enough that she was required to tell all of the other parents about it and any new clients she may sign up need to be notified. She now has to explain what happened to any potential clients of the incident and if she doesn't then it's a class A violation.

If the woman watching the little girl was just a person watching the child for the day or just a "babysitter", or not required to register or become licensed then unfortunately I doubt that anything serious would be done to her. Her parents may wise up and sue her civilly, because I agree that if you are taking care of a child she is your responsibility no matter what, but CPS involvement seems unlikely in this case. If it were the mother of the child that had been at the park instead I doubt that even then CPS would rush to her and interrogate her. The claim that is pending now on the park system sounds to me like the parent wants to sue the city and seems highly unlikely that she'll win but the city may just settle to keep their own costs down. It's sad how the system works.
As far as I can tell the "provider" who spoke on the tape is not registered. She may be but it's not on the DHS website yet or she may be unregistered. That is currently legal in my State. In 2013 it will be required to be registered.

The regulations for unregistered are IDENTICAL to registered with the exception of two major things: You can't have more than 5 kids including your own under five years old and no more than a total of three can be under two. You also do not have a signed consent that you will allow inspections. If an unregistered provider does anything wrong it usually IS child protective services that does the initial investigation because they do not need a court order to get into your house. They can EASILY get that if you refuse to be interviewed.

If she is unregistered this will most likely be investigated by child protective. They are the first line of defense for an unregistered provider where the DHS is the first for a registered. If anything, being unregistered will skip her past a regular inspection and put her in the seat next to the child protective.

I do feel this will be investigated and a founded case of neglect will be issued. I think she will be forbiden to do child care for ten years. I think she will be cited for not carefully supervising the child and putting her in harms way because of the equipment she had her on. She will also be cited for not checking the hot slide but being ON the equipment without proximal adult supervision will be the first and foremost charge.

Because the Mom is begining the legal process with the City this highly increases the providers chance of having intervention from the DHS and child protective. When they go to court for this they will have a founded case of child abuse on the provider alongside of a court order that she cease chld care for X number of years. This will be highly in their favor when they are looking at any type of percentage of damages.
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Old 05-31-2010, 12:30 PM
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Honestly, I think it's a pretty weasel-ly thing all around for all parties.

The mom wants to blame the city, everyone wants the lady who was watching the kid tarred and feathered, the city is running around with their heads cut off looking for anyone to blame but themselves, etc etc.

How about this one.....bad stuff happens sometimes?

Honestly, how many here knew that a plastic slide could reach 160+ degrees before this? How easily could this have been any one of us?

You want to know what REALLY is going to come out of this? The park being torn down. The entire play structure, slides, walkways, swings, EVERYTHING is going to be torn down.

Why? Because everyone wants someone to pay, and the city is going to say "fine, we're going to have to limit our liability.....tear the park down".


As for charges on the provider, they could never get abuse to stick, they could get negligence, but never abuse.
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Old 05-31-2010, 05:41 PM
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Honestly, I think it's a pretty weasel-ly thing all around for all parties.

The mom wants to blame the city, everyone wants the lady who was watching the kid tarred and feathered, the city is running around with their heads cut off looking for anyone to blame but themselves, etc etc.

How about this one.....bad stuff happens sometimes?

Honestly, how many here knew that a plastic slide could reach 160+ degrees before this? How easily could this have been any one of us?

You want to know what REALLY is going to come out of this? The park being torn down. The entire play structure, slides, walkways, swings, EVERYTHING is going to be torn down.

Why? Because everyone wants someone to pay, and the city is going to say "fine, we're going to have to limit our liability.....tear the park down".


As for charges on the provider, they could never get abuse to stick, they could get negligence, but never abuse.
In my State child abuse comes under abuse, neglect, and endangerment. My guess is she will have a founded case of neglect for leaving the child unattended and a founded case of endangerment for leaving her unattended on a piece of equipment where the fall zone was about seven/eight foot. The burn is the end result of the neglect and endangerment. I don't think it will be the primary reason she will have a founded case. It's the result of the neglect and endangerment.

Although the second degree burns are serious and painful, I don't believe the outcome of this case will hinge upon them. In fact, I would think that they would be a contributing factor but not anywhere nearly as important as the endangerment from allowing the child on a surface that far off the ground without "spotting" her and physically having control over her body. She could have EASILY fallen off of that equpment and broken her neck, skull, spine, legs, arms etc. THIS was the most serious offense IMHO. It is WAY more serious than the liability for not checking the surface temp of the equipment. That was an error but will most likely not be THE error that sinks this provider.

We may never know the outcome of this because unless criminal charges are filed, the child protective services does not make public founded cases of abuse, neglect, or endangerment. With the City being involved I do think the liklihood that criminal prosecution is higher.

My take away from this is twofold:

We all need to be aware of any surface our kids are coming into contact with and check the safety of the surface BEFORE the child comes into contact with it. This is a basic fundamental principal of caring for kids. Never assume a surface is safe, especially if it is not a surface you are intimately familiar with.

Second: Never allow a child to have their bodies high off the ground without having you in between them and the ground. When you are calculating the safety remember to include the child's height into your assessment and add that to the height of what they are standing on or climbing on. That's what gives you the fall zone. Remember to that children are very heavy headed and gravity will do a number on them because of it. They are much more likely to fall because they are so top heavy.

This is basic fundamental child care safety.

As far as the suing goes.. I don't think the City will have much liability. They may need to put "caution when hot" signs around the playground equipment or embedded in their future equipment. That would not be a bad idea anyway.

I think the City's position will be that children must be supervised when playing on equipment and that children should not be playing on equipment that is not age appropriate for them.

The provider on the other hand.. I wouldn't want to be her when the bills start rolling in on this one. I wouldn't want to be her when the parent gets a clue that she is the one liable. Emergency burn care is crazy expensive. Skin grafting.. pain and suffering... it aint gonna be good. I would be scared $hitless if I were her.
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Old 05-31-2010, 07:58 PM
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Whether the city can be held liable in this case or not (and trust me, some lawyer already is on this one), they're going to run scared and tear that playground down. Even if this case doesn't do them in, the next may (now they know the slide gets hot, and left it there knowing full well how dangerous it is, yada yada yada).

Here's why....like you said, we should all know what we're dealing with....the city put in playground equipment that can burn someone? Someone got burned? And they still have the equipment there knowing full well that it's dangerous?

Oh, that's a lawsuit in todays litigious society.


As for the abuse/neglect thing, where I learned the English language, abuse is an action, neglect is the lack of action (both resulting in the same results).
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Old 06-01-2010, 03:45 AM
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Whether the city can be held liable in this case or not (and trust me, some lawyer already is on this one), they're going to run scared and tear that playground down. Even if this case doesn't do them in, the next may (now they know the slide gets hot, and left it there knowing full well how dangerous it is, yada yada yada).

Here's why....like you said, we should all know what we're dealing with....the city put in playground equipment that can burn someone? Someone got burned? And they still have the equipment there knowing full well that it's dangerous?

Oh, that's a lawsuit in todays litigious society.


As for the abuse/neglect thing, where I learned the English language, abuse is an action, neglect is the lack of action (both resulting in the same results).
Oh I don't know if they will tear the slide down. The vast majority of our parks have this identical equipment. I have a park next to my house and it has the equiment with the same slides with different configuration. It would mean taking down hundreds of play structures across the city. I don't see that happening. They may put up signs in the future. I believe there was a sign up in that playground stating ages for that pieces of equipment but I'm not positive. Next time I'm in that area I will check.

Heck I'm just guessing on all of this really. I am VERY familiar with the day care standards and how seriously something like this would be taken in my County.

The Regs that speak to this incident are:

Play equipment and materials in a safe condition, for both indoor and outdoor activities which are developmentally appropriate for the ages and number of children present.

Give careful supervision at all times.
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Old 06-01-2010, 08:16 AM
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FTR, I agree that the provider should have checked the equipment, and that she should have been closer to the child.With my original post, I was considering my own equipment, not public playground equipmet....I do a visual check daily of all of my own equipment, but not a temp check, simply because I know my equipment and none of it sits in direct sunlight.

I NEVER use public playgrounds, mostly becauseI didn't personally place the equipment and ANYTHING could be wrong with it.

I still think that if there is going to be any accountability held by anyone, it should be provider/parks and rec/manufactuer. A simple sign saying that it gets THAT hot would suffice.
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Old 06-01-2010, 12:10 PM
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Honestly, I think it's a pretty weasel-ly thing all around for all parties.

The mom wants to blame the city, everyone wants the lady who was watching the kid tarred and feathered, the city is running around with their heads cut off looking for anyone to blame but themselves, etc etc.

How about this one.....bad stuff happens sometimes?

Honestly, how many here knew that a plastic slide could reach 160+ degrees before this? How easily could this have been any one of us?

You want to know what REALLY is going to come out of this? The park being torn down. The entire play structure, slides, walkways, swings, EVERYTHING is going to be torn down.

Why? Because everyone wants someone to pay, and the city is going to say "fine, we're going to have to limit our liability.....tear the park down".


As for charges on the provider, they could never get abuse to stick, they could get negligence, but never abuse.
I agree! Accidents happen. Now we are all even more aware of the damage a heated play surface can cause! Do we really have to make someone PAY for it...
ie:
The city and or manufacurer spending hundreds of thousands of dollars replacing slides??
The child care providers name being dragged through the dirt and being blamed for this??

Come on people. It was an accident. Lets all learn from it and move on. I am glad that news station didnt try to give the home daycare provider (AND ALONG WITH IT A STIGMA FOR ALL HOME PROVIDERS) a bad name. They focused on making parents aware of a potential safety hazard.

Everyone has made errors in judgement...arent you glad a news station wasnt there to document it a plaster it on everyones tv screen? Let's not be so quick to judge others. None of us were there and do not know how it all played out. Obviously the parent trusts her provider. And I am sure the provider has learned from her mistake as well.
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