For most kids, the idea of visiting a soft play area is an exciting one. Just think – enclosed ball pits, netted areas, ladders, tunnels, and much more besides… all this can be included in one well-designed soft play area, loved by young children all over the country. Thankfully, soft play injuries are a rarity, since these areas are designed to be safe and fun to use, while offering very little in the way of potential hazards.
RoSPA, the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, has plenty of information about how these sites should be planned and developed to ensure the utmost safety. The number of children that can be safely accommodated, introducing separate areas for different age groups, and staff numbers are just three of the things to be considered.
A great way to play in safety
Soft play centres are designed with safety in mind. They are designed to provide kids with a place to let off steam and to wear themselves out, without parents worrying about traffic or other nearby dangers. Very few children ever suffer injuries at soft play centres, and when things do happen, they are likely very minor injuries caused by simple over-exuberance.
However, if your child has received soft play injuries while attending one of these popular centres or locations, you may want to know what happened and whether it could reasonably have been prevented.
What kinds of soft play injuries could potentially occur?
Children might incur a range of injuries if they are unlucky and suffer from soft play injuries while enjoying one of these centres. Here are some examples:
- Cuts and lacerations
- Friction burns
- Broken or cracked bones
- Illness, i.e. sickness and diarrhoea
If your child has incurred any of these injuries while attending a centre like this, it is worth finding out more about how it happened. The majority of places exceed the health and safety guidelines for children’s play and leisure services. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is responsible for ensuring health and safety standards are met and preserved in a wide range of situations. These include focusing on health and safety measures in the leisure industry, and we could include guidance given to play centres and similar play locations for children in this instance.
Every child experiences injuries as they grow up – it is all part of the process. However, we have a right to demand a high standard of safety from any play centre we may take our children to. Thankfully, most people won’t experience any issues with such centres. This is mainly because the people in charge of soft play venues meet and exceed all the requirements asked of them by health and safety standards.
For instance, play equipment, as mentioned on the RoSPA website, should meet certain British Standards (BS). These standards also apply to lighting, fire escapes, and even hand-drying facilities in the toilets. It falls to those responsible for providing such soft play services to ensure they understand all the rules they must adhere to, and all the safety standards they must meet.
Since this is usually the case, the play centres you likely visit with your child will be well maintained, regularly cleaned and inspected and ready to be used by children whenever the centre is open. It is rare that something would go wrong, but as we have seen, soft play injuries are potentially possible from time to time.
How serious is your child’s injury?
When your child is injured and this is brought to your attention, your first thought will be to find out how badly they have been injured. They are likely to be upset and possibly in pain, so try and keep them calm so you can find out where and how they have been hurt. You may then wish to seek medical attention for them, especially if you suspect they have broken a bone or suffered a head injury.
There are other reasons for seeking medical attention. Firstly, your child may not be able to describe how they feel, at least not in the same way an adult would. This means you may not know how badly they are injured. This makes it a good idea to get them checked over, just to be safe. If injuries are confirmed, you can then get them treated.
Secondly, you would then have the advantage of medical records detailing the injuries your child has suffered from. If you did manage to claim compensation, these records could be supportive in helping make this happen.
Could you claim compensation for your child?
With good legislation and standards in place for indoor soft-play areas, the chances of your child being hurt are small. However, if you are still reading up to this point, they may indeed have been injured, and you may be wondering what you can do about it.
If you suspect someone else was at fault, and you think you have a reasonable chance to get some compensation on your child’s behalf, you will be pleased to hear it is easy to speak to a professional to find out for certain. Soft play injuries can be frightening and upsetting for a young child, and depending on the severity, they may take time to heal, too. Broken bones can take weeks, and even more serious soft tissue injuries can be painful and may mean the child cannot do the things they usually would.
Call us today
Expert advice is imperative if your child has suffered soft play injuries recently. To get this advice on a no-obligation basis now, simply call 0800 689 0500 (or 0333 500 0993 from your mobile) to get through to the Accident Advice Helpline team. We have extensive experience of dealing with all kinds of compensation claims, and can likely help you understand the situation you and your child are in as well. It is easy to call and easy to speak with someone who can help, so get in touch with us now.
Date Published: June 12, 2015
Author: David Brown