The new downtown splash pad is a hit with parents and kids around the Valley, but a trip to the splash pad turned into a nightmare for one local family.
The Hindson’s 6-year old was playing in the splash pad on Main Street with his daycare group, and nearly lost a toe when it got stuck in one of the grates. Now his parents are speaking out to warn others.
On a hot day, the splash pad on Main Street can be the perfect way to cool off, but for one family, the splash pad was part of a freak accident.
Danielle Hindson’s son was shopping downtown with another mother on Tuesday afternoon. She says the group was not planning on playing in the splash pad, but the children asked if they could play. Had it been a planned trip, she says she would’ve made sure her son was wearing water shoes or Crocs.
"What ended up happening is he got his middle toe caught in the grate, and then fell," mother Danielle said of her son’s accident.
The fall caused the grate to slice nearly halfway through his middle toe.
"It was very traumatic, I mean, not only the injury itself, but in order to suture up his toe, he had to have numerous injections to numb his toe,” Danielle said.
She was called to meet her son and the daycare provider at the emergency room, an experience she and her husband Phillip hope other parents and children won’t ever have to go through.
"We're more concerned about the younger kids that we see out there. Every time we go by there, there's 15-20 kids playing in the water," Phillip Hindson said.
The Hindson's aren't blaming the city, nor do they plan to sue. They just want others to be aware of the potential danger.
"Just put a smaller grate in there, someway to fix the problem so it doesn't happen again,” Phillip recommended.
"Put up a sign or something that warns shoes need to be worn," Danielle added.
Other parents agree that these potential injuries can be avoided at the splash pad, but some admit it can be difficult to monitor a child when there are so many others playing in a small place.
"Maybe if there were a few more places, there'd be fewer children at every place," mother Michelle Rich said.
Rich says there probably isn’t enough tax money to go toward these projects, but maybe an age restriction at the splash pads could help keep numbers down.
"I just think it's the adult's responsibility to keep track of their kids," mother Valarie Sanchez added.
The Hindson's are waiting to hear back from the city's risk manager. The city says he is out of town, but incidents like these can be filed. Until then, their little boy will continue to recover.
"We just don't want to see it happen to anyone else's kids," Phillip said.
KKCO 11 News contacted the city for comment and it says a new sign is in the works that will say proper footwear will be required at the splash pad. It also says there have been a few similar incidents like this one.
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