Four-year-old Lukian Khudik ran through the Benny Park splash pad Monday afternoon sporting a bike helmet and shoes.
His father made him wear the helmet after an incident that occurred in mid-August.
Earlier this month, young Lukian slipped and hit his head when playing barefoot in the Notre-Dame-de-Grâce splash pad.
“He fell in the same spot twice,” Khudik’s father said.
The boy fell because the cement was slippery due to black mould growing on its surface.
“It’s not normal. Come on, it’s black; black is mould,” Khudik said.
The sun and extreme heat combined with the constant stagnant water has caused the perfect recipe for mould to grow, city councillor Peter McQueen said.
It is an issue that has plagued many splash pads in the area, he added.
Loyola Park has also had mould form in its splash pad, according to McQueen.
At least two children, one being Lukian, have injured themselves by falling.
“Now we have second injury. We are realizing this is bigger than we thought and is getting worse as the summer goes on,” McQueen said.
Khudik filed one of the two formal complaints in the borough. He called 311 and the city said an investigator would come by within 90 days.
“Really? In October, November you are going to come and investigate when the splash pad is closed,” Khudik said.
McQueen said the safety of children is a priority and that the issue will be dealt with in the coming days.
“Crews will be cleaning (the splash pads) with steel brushes and that we are going to institute right away,” he said.
McQueen added that in the meantime, the borough is looking into ways to prevent this from happening in the future.
Colourful, painted splash pads will no longer be implemented because of the increase in mould growth, McQueen said.
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