Child severely cuts toe at splash pad, parents warn others

By: Taylor Temby Email
By: Taylor Temby Email

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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  • by Mother on Jul 20, 2012 at 10:54 AM
    I already made it clear that we are NOT planning on suing the City and it never crossed our minds. We simply would like the City to address and fix the issues so that more children get hurt. As the news stated there has been more than one injury at this splash pad. What will it take before the City fixes the issue? I am not trying to scare anyone way from going there, but if there are hazards why not fix them instead of letting kids continue to get injured? All of you keep saying that that it wouldn't have happened if we would have been with him. His day care provider was 2 feet from him when it happened. Even if she was holding his hand it still could have happened. The grates have opening that are too wide and are Sharpe. This is the issues, NOT the lack of responsibility on my day care provider. If it had been a planned outing to the splash pad he would have had his water shoes on, but it was a spur of the moment stop. If you watched the news story only 1 child had shoes on. I think you all would be feeling differently if it was your child! Why don’t you put yourself in my shoe or the parents of other children that have been injured at this splash pad?
  • by Old Location: School on Jul 19, 2012 at 10:22 PM
    I am 31. Remember when you wanted to go out and play in the ditch and your parents said "be back by dark" or when you wanted to play baseball in the street, your parents bought you a glove? It is so sad that no one is allowed to do anything anymore. Sure I remember the times riding to school with mom and us kids jumping around the back seat with no belts on. Kids aren't dying at a faster pace now compared to 25 years ago. Kids get hurt. We all got stitches at one point. Let kids be kids. Soon when our babies are born we will all be given giant bubbles for them all to live in until they are 85. Guarantee a lawsuit comes out of this. And then us tax payers will be out the cash to these wackos and the money for a new gate. Let's make these "Concerned, over protective" parents pay for the new gate for not having their kids retain the common sense to wear shoes when playing on the 90 degree grounds.
    • reply
      by Does anyone read anymore? on Jul 20, 2012 at 12:44 AM in reply to Old
      They already said they aren't suing, and of course kids aren't dying at a faster pace now, more safety measures are taken and we have better medical technology.
  • by Ha on Jul 19, 2012 at 09:35 PM
    Am I the only one that thinks if your dumb enough to let your kids play on a grate without shoes, then it's pretty much your fault. Next a family will be warning us to make sure your kids wear shoes while riding a bike.
    • reply
      by Does anyone read anymore? on Jul 20, 2012 at 12:43 AM in reply to Ha
      They said that it was the daycare provider, so yes, someone may have been at fault but it sounds like the fault of the daycare provider, not the parents.
  • by john on Jul 19, 2012 at 08:53 PM
    Accidents happen all the time, this could have happened to someone who is in their twentys, quit crying about it and move on
  • by FDR on Jul 19, 2012 at 07:57 PM
    I wonder how many attorneys have contacted this family ? Maybe, even, our soon to be commissioner.
  • by Micah on Jul 19, 2012 at 07:57 PM
    Yes this is an unfortunate accident, but lets not make a big deal about this. Where kids want to play, there is danger they might get hurt. Yes it was probably a bit traumatic for the child, but he is also probably young enough he will forget about the bad and just show off his "battle scar". Yes my son will wear shoes there from now on, but I am not going to let something like this scare me off from letting him play there. It is a great place to just sit back and watch your kids having a blast playing in the water and cooling off from the heat of the day. Heck, even I play in the water myself sometimes.
  • by Anonymous on Jul 19, 2012 at 06:41 PM
    Man farts, others undecided if it stinks
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