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Make Gymboree Park Slope A Safe Place for Our Babies and Toddlers

This petition had 73 supporters

Parents expect that companies such as Gymboree Play and Music, whose business is built on the well-being of babies and toddlers, make safety the first priority.  But, Gymboree has compromised safety at its Brooklyn location and we want real safety improvements.

On October 6, my 4-year old son fell from a high platform as a result of Gymboree's negligence.  The support bar that held up a heavy wooden platform and large wooden slide gave way and led to a violent and sudden crash.  My son had been standing, so his head was 9 feet above the ground at the time of the equipment failure.  My son was rushed to after-hours pediatric urgent care with a head injury.  Thankfully, he escaped a concussion and none of the babies or toddlers who were present at the time of incident, were hurt.  I learned from a Gymboree employee that the equipment has failed in a similar manner before.  A malfunctioning latch on one of the aluminum bars is all that it takes to compromise the entire play structure.

At the time of the incident, an employee told me that her and other employees have expressed safety concerns and they've been ignored.  She said, "if it comes from a mom, maybe now they'll take safety more seriously." Separately, I learned that when a former employee fell off of the play equipment because of a support bar failure, which was witnessed by parents, she was told by the franchise owner that she didn't need to fill out an incident report, which would have led to an investigation of safety procedures. Then when I told the franchise owner about my own incident, she said it was the first time she had heard of anything like that happening.  Who can we trust?  In a letter that was posted at Gymboree, it suggests instead that such incidents of bar failure are "rare." But one rare instance of Gymboree's negligence to install a bar properly is too many.

Please add your voice to demand that Gymboree Play and Music in Park Slope makes real change to their equipment and safety procedures.  What Gymboree has done so far as a result of this incident is posted a safety checklist, but there was a safety checklist that was to be adhered to before the incident.  The checklist didn't do anything. Now what? There are many questions left unanswered.

-What kind of test does each bar undergo before it is put into use?  The bars must support the weight of a dozen small children at any given time and they are used by hundreds of babies and children over the course of a week.

-If you do a safety test in the morning how does this ensure that the equipment will be safe at night after it has been in use all day?

-What happens to a supporting bar whose latch malfunctions even once?  Is it ignored?  Repaired?  Are these incidents recorded?

-Since the playground landscape at Gymboree Play and Music changes every two weeks, it creates safety hazards since the equipment is constantly moved, taken apart, and rebuilt. Is an engineer putting the equipment together? What are his/her credentials to build elevated structures for newborns, infants and children to climb and jump on? How much time does s/he have to build out the structures every two weeks? It's my understanding that the people who put together the equipment at Park Slope are contractors, not Gymboree employees.

-How can current and future customers trust that this will never happen again?

We are concerned parents and want a safer play environment.


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Citizen Squirrel needs your help with “Mark Breitbard, Maryann O'Neill: Make Gymboree A Safe Place for Our Babies and Toddlers”. Join Citizen and 72 supporters today.