June 23, 2010
Concerned parents and teachers are demanding the dismantling of “dangerous” playground equipment and stricter regulation of play areas in public parks and primary schools.
With claims of children’s lives being put at risk, one of the public playgrounds that has come under scrutiny is the popular play area at Goodman’s Beach.
In the last few months, complaints about the depreciation of the playground facilities at the popular beach access have flooded local talk shows.
A popular family location, the playground is often crowded with children under the age of 13 – most without direct supervision.
Parents report eroded monkey bars and handles, deteriorating wood, and grounds littered with used condoms and broken beer bottles.
Upset by the “ill-quality” wooden playground equipment used in public schools, a primary school teacher claims children are constantly at risk.
The teacher said: “I don’t understand the proliferation of this wooden playground equipment. Is it cheaper? Because it seems as though they are poorly constructed and I wonder if they are even inspected?
“Then there is the termite factor, there sticking these wooden structures directly into the ground, so termites eventually eat out the footing of the equipment.
Familiar with facilities and regulations at public schools in the United States, the teacher also questioned whether routine inspections are performed to ensure the integrity of equipment.
The teacher also pointed out the absence of weight limitation notices, which would alert guardians to proper equipment use.
In 2003, seven-year-old Kyiel Clarke-Munroe fell to his death when the monkey bars at Carlton E Francis Primary School collapsed.
His tragic death severely traumatized numerous primary school children who witnessed the fall – some unable to sleep afterwards.
The teacher continued: “The kids are at risk. Safety should be the priority, not cheapness.
“The safety of the children should be the main priority.”
The installation and maintenance of public playground equipment is regulated under the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture.
Officials were unable to provide response to complaints up to press time.
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News date : 06/23/2010