Roundabout breaks, injuring child’s foot

[caption id="attachment_70462" align="alignright" width="225"] UNSAFE EQUIPMENT: A three-year-old boy had his foot severely injured when a piece of wood and metal broke off this roundabout in Richmond Park while he was playing on it -[/caption]

ON February 10 between 5pm and 6pm, I took my two children, aged nine and three, and their friend, aged five, to Richmond Park in Richmond Hill. This has become a regular event as our home is located four streets from the park.

My three-year-old son and his friend were playing on the roundabout. I heard a dreadful scream and my heart sank into my chest as I knew my boy was quite tough and he had to be hurt badly.

As I turned around the roundabout came to a sudden halt. As I came to them all he shouted was he was in pain and that the wood had broken.

I pulled his foot out from underneath the roundabout and there was blood everywhere. I realised it wasn’t just a minor cut and picked him up, rounded up the other children and ran home with him in my arms, blood flowing from his foot.

At home I took him to the bathroom to run water over his foot to get a closer look at the cut, but the flow of blood was too much. I then rushed him to the emergency department at the nearest hospital.

Medical staff looked at his foot and said he would definitely need stitches. As they cleaned his foot they realised that they could not stitch it due to too much stone/rust/metal being in his wound. If not cleaned out properly, this debris would cause major infection that could lead to losing a limb.

This meant we had to stay overnight in hospital for observation and for him to be operated on the following day. They had to scrub the wound and then stitch it up.

He also had to go under anaesthetic. This resulted in a very traumatised boy with a lot of pain and suffering.

The hospital, the doctors and staff were phenomenal and did a wonderful job, and he is going to be fine.

I do however believe that in a world where we encourage our children to play outside, how can this be possible when the conditions at a play park do not allow this? If this and all other play park equipment cannot be fixed due to no funds or maybe funds being diverted by corrupt means, then please rather break it down and take it away.

Following the incident, there has been some “vandalism” though as a perfectly repairable roundabout in a beautiful park has been turned upside down, reportedly by the municipality.

-Mariska Schoeman, Port Elizabeth