Safety concerns are being raised after a Winnipeg child was nearly strangled by a dangling rope at an indoor playground.
On Friday afternoon, a 7-year-old boy was caught in unanchored ropes while climbing a play structure at Hide N Seek Playground.
“All of a sudden someone screamed and we looked up and saw a little boy hanging off of a rope by his neck,” Jennifer Ash said. “I’m pretty sure at that point he was unconscious.”
Ash was with a group of parents and children when the incident occurred and said parents went rushing to help.
“It took a minute for an adult to realize what had happened,” she said. “It was horrible. It was honestly one of the worst experiences in my life. It haunts me everyday.”
Paramedics were called and the child was okay.
Hide N Seek Playground refused an interview with Global News but confirmed the ropes at each of its locations have now been removed.
But the incident has safety organizations renewing a call for enforceable regulations at all playgrounds – public and private.
“There’s not actually any formal regulation across Canada for play spaces at all,” Parachute’s Stephanie Cowle said.
Parachute is a national organization that works to prevent injuries.
“There are some standards available through the Canadian Standards Association that speak to safe places and equipment maintenance but those are voluntary. No jurisdiction is required and technically they don’t apply to private spaces,” Cowle said. “It would be great if they were mandatory and they were enforced.”
It’s a change Parachute has been pushing governments to get on board with for years.
“In terms of having standards that can be enforced and that eliminate hazards for children… it’s important,” she said. “No child should have their life risked from play.”
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