Playing is an important part in child’s development. According to American Academy of Pediatrics, it allows children to use their creativity while developing their imagination, dexterity, physical, cognitive and emotional strength. Furthermore, it is important to healthy brain development because it is through playing that children at a very age engage and interact in the world around them. Thus, it also offers an opportunity for parents to have time and engage with their kids.
Despite all these benefits, there are also some hazards that we need to watch out for. As a parent it’s our responsibility to ensure their safety when they play.
One of the most popular play area these days is “Ball Pits” or also known as ball pool or ball pond, it is a padded box to pool filled with small colorful hollow plastic balls.
A British stem-cell bank claims that ball pits are covered in poo, vomit and sticky substances. They said that 99.9 percent of these popular area is full of germs due to feces which are often hidden at the bottom.
However, the company hadn’t done any scientific study on this subject but previous research proved that these play areas are possible for harmful bacteria.
Managing director of the company behind the claim is Mark Hall, he was worried that his children were playing in.
He stated: “I'm a parent of very young children, I've watched some of these places with my professional hat on and what I've learned has truly disturbed me”
“'You take your kids to these ball pit play warehouses to have fun. But I've seen kids emerge with their legs covered in poo”
“And there worst thing was that it wasn't even their own. There was a nasty surprise package left at the end of one of the big slides by a previous customer, and all of a sudden it's everywhere.'”
They’ve also done an interview with several workers to support this claim. Staffs admitted that ball pits are rarely cleaned and are often spilled with juice or covered in vomit and germs.
One study from Virginia research in 1999 actually support Mark Hall’s claim. Experts gathered some specimens from play areas that had ball pits and they’ve found out an increased level of flora (The normal flora are bacteria which are found in or on our bodies on a semi-permanent basis without causing disease) as well as n o human flora which signified that bacteria was covering these play pens.
They therefore concluded that what they have discovered actually questioned the safety of these play areas and advised those people especially kids to wash their hands and disinfect after coming into contact with germs.
Mark Hall made some interviews with managers and parents who also narrated some gruesome story of this play area.
'We're forever dealing with little ones spewing and pooing, but there's only so much you can do. We get the worst of it out, but proper deep cleans are few and far between”. According to an unidentified workers which he revealed to Hall.