HEALTH & SAFETY

Commercial play centres put kids at risk

Sweden's Consumer Protection Agency has sharply criticised play centres for young children for their attempts to shunt responsibility onto the parents instead of constructing safe play areas, reports news bureau TT. The issue has risen as the number of leisure centres run commercially has increased in Sweden. Eleven play centres were inspected and Anna Ekegren, lawyer at the Consumer Agency, says, "It shouldn't be this way. Children should not run the risk of being seriously injured because of adult's ignorance."

The Agency was critical of some centres putting up signs saying it took no legal responsibility for any injuries sustained at the site.

The inspections found several climbing frames for children constructed so the user could be trapped by the head or neckn, and risk suffocation. There have also been reports of concussions and skull fractures when children have taken a tumble.

Anna Ekegren says, "This is very serious and needs to be remedied. These leisure centres are a relatively new phenomenon in Sweden and we have spent a lot of time on informing them about what they need comply with. In their turn, they have been very engaged and positive to the controls we've done."

She also said that the commercial centres have responsibilities for the construction and design but parents still needed to be vigilant and attentive to their playing children.