Thursday, October 1, 2009
On April 15, 2009, I received a phone call from my son's elementary school telling me that he was seriously injured on the playground during recess and I needed to pick him up immediately. He was coming down off of a Little Tikes play set, when his arms got caught behind some bars preventing him from breaking his fall with his hands. Because the bars are so narrow, he was unable to bring his arms forward to catch himself, but, instead he fell flat on his face on the lower Little Tikes Stone Climber. He ended up damaging his upper permanent front teeth and sustaining an inch long whole in his lower lip that came through to the front of his chin. His two front teeth were sideways -- one was separated from the bone and chipped off horizontally with 50 percent gone and the other was chipped off diagonally with about 1/3 missing. All four front teeth were pushed back behind his lower teeth so that he could not close his mouth. It has been a long healing process.
I believe the design my son injured himself on poses an entrapment hazard as well as a protrusion hazard for children. Furthermore, these Stones Climbers do not provide enough surface area for a child to break their fall with -- as traditional stairs would. And they are very, very hard surfaces to fall on.
I have created this blog to find out if there have been any other accidents with children falling on these Stone Climbers. They are used as steps for going on or off of a platform with railings alongside them (as the one my son injured himself on) or they are freestanding for balancing on (pictures of both designs are posted here on this blog). If anyone knows of someone who has been injured on these, please respond to my blog and also report it to the Consumer Product Safety Commission immediately. I reported my son's accident to them and they followed up with a full investigation. They are now monitoring it for any trends involving this design.
Please be cautious when children are playing around these Little Tikes Stone Climbers!