Council reviewing safety of water-play surface
Wednesday 21 November 2012
Council is looking at options to make the surface of the new water play feature at Marine Gardens less slippery.
Community Services Group Manager Tamsin Evans says Council is taking "very seriously" reports that a small number of children have hurt themselves after slipping while playing on the new splash pad. "We accept children will occasionally slip, while playing, especially in water, but we want to make absolutely sure this facility is as safe as it can be.
“The feature complies with the New Zealand Playgrounds standard and the NZ standard for surface slip. It was tested again just last week by an independent contractor who specialises in anti-slip surfaces and was found to actually exceed requirements.”
The new water-play feature, installed as part of the playground upgrade, has a painted surface in the shape of a duck, to replicate the duck-shaped paddling pool it replaced. Ms Evans says the paintwork was roughened to prevent it being slippery but needs to 'weather' a little more. She says while this happens Council will be putting up signs asking carers to supervise their children when they are playing on the splash pad.
"Children will be children and we don't want to take the element of fun away but at the same time, we want children to enjoy the experience and not go home sporting a bump on the head or grazed knee. Some parents seem to find those rubbery beach shoes work well, so that is also an option."
Ms Evans says Council is working with the supplier of the splash pad on possible solutions to address concerns and the performance of the facility is being closely monitored. As a last resort she says the splash pad may be temporarily closed if it is decided a more permanent solution is warranted.
"We really don't want to do this because the water feature is proving extremely popular. We’ve had hugely positive feedback from the community and only a small number of complaints. However any fall on a hard surface is potentially serious so we have a duty to do everything we practically can to minimise chances of that happening."
Permanent signs, advising care, are expected to go up this week.