Safety First: Don’t Play Around with Our Playground!
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Washington Square Playground urgently needs a child safety gate to prevent our babies and toddlers from being seriously hurt.
The recently remodeled playground in North Beach is very well utilized but in the months since it opened, parents and care providers have been challenged to keep their little ones safe due to the lack of a safety enclosure.
This playground is designed for young pre-school-aged children when bolting and running away are common normal behaviors. The playground's proximity and unobstructed access to the very busy Columbus Avenue (at Filbert Street) with its speedy cars and busses makes a dangerous invitation to a bolting toddler. While the “sandbox” design of the old playground impeded the quick escape of toddlers from a momentarily distracted parent or caregiver, the new fast rubber surface launches them into danger’s path.
Now that Washington Square Park is once again open to the public, an enclosed playground can better serve adults accompanied by children, rather than the public at large which can bring with it circumstances detrimental to youngsters. When the playground which is close to the public restrooms becomes an open-campground, children can become frightened and innocently confront such things as discarded needles, dog urine and feces as well as other waste that make the playground unsafe; especially for babies and toddlers crawling and playing on all fours.
The amount of safety complaints and near-misses received by North Beach Neighbor’s since the new playground opened makes it clear that an age appropriate enclosure to keep the toddlers in and the non-child-accompanied users aside is urgently needed. Many parents and care-givers have stopped using the playground altogether. Benches provided outside of an attractive toddler-sized gated enclosure would allow the public to enjoy the view of the children’s playground and would not impede access to Washington Square Park.
Join North Beach Neighbors in asserting the need for a child safety gate at Washington Square Playground as an urgent and important safety measure. Please add your name to our petition and share your stories or concerns that you or your children have encountered since the new playground opened.
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