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jca's avatar

Should I write a letter that may get the children's playspace closed, or should I do nothing and hope nobody gets hurt?

Asked by jca (36010points) April 29th, 2009

At the Danbury Mall, there is a children’s playspace (an indoor playground, enclosed, carpeted). Parents are expected to accompany their children and watch them. There are posted rules, like no running and no fighting. There are recommended maximum heights for the kids, because the space is intended for babies, toddlers and little kids, not teens or bigger kids, but nobody ensures that parents and children abide by the rules. I have found that at times, the play area is chaotic, with big kids in amongst the toddlers and babies, kids chasing each other, etc. (kids acting the way kids do). Not every kid is accompanied by a parent. I had written a letter to the mall about three months ago, about what i had seen, and recommending they post someone to make sure the rules are followed and no kids are left while the parents go shopping. No changes were made.

Last night, I went to the play area with my two year old daughter. There was a little boy sitting alone, looking sad. He was about four years old. He started crying. I asked the parents in the area if any of them were his mom or dad. They all said no. I tried to talk to the boy but he was crying and saying “mama, mama.” I did not see mall security in the area so i called 911. In the meantime the kid was hysterical and one of the mothers there comforted him. The police called mall security. Security guard came, dad showed up (he left the kid there probably to go shopping), guard told him next time he’ll get arrested.

Someone told me if i write another letter emphasizing that they should just post a guard to enforce the rules, they may close the playspace and that hurts everyone. My conscience is clear because I wrote one letter already. Should I write another one? I feel like they didn’t take my concerns seriously but a kid could get hurt or worse.

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10 Answers

robmandu's avatar

Speaking as a parent, you did right calling 911.

Seems like good citizenship and some additional vigilance by mall security should do the job.

wundayatta's avatar

They might close the playspace, or they might find a way to make it safe. Isn’t the safety of children the highest priority?

kelly's avatar

write, call, email. a responsible manager Should respond. Plus its on record

casheroo's avatar

I don’t see why they’d close it. I imagine the logical thing to do would be to hire an attendent, to make sure people follow the rules.
But, that may be wishful thinking on my part. We have a playspace in a local mall, and big kids have actually drop kicked my toddler because they are so rough. It has no specific age range posted, so I can’t really complain. It says it’s intended for “small children” which could mean anything :(

cwilbur's avatar

Is it causing a problem for you? You’ve already written one letter, so the mall managers know that it’s a problem. They’ll have more evidence when they look at the police report and the report from the security guard. Do you think writing another letter will add enough evidence to this that they’ll actually do something? It sounds like the mall managers and staff know that this is a problem already, and they have chosen how to deal with it.

Their lawyers probably told them that if they hired an attendant, they’ll be more liable if anything goes wrong than if they don’t. If they just set up a playground and say “Use at your own risk,” and a parent does something stupid like leave a child unattended, and the kid gets hurt, the mall managers can say, “We don’t have an attendant there, and the rules are posted. The father didn’t follow them.” But if they do have an attendant, they’re in effect offering to take responsibility for the kids, and if a kid gets hurt, suddenly the mall is liable for a lot more money because they had an attendant on duty.

hug_of_war's avatar

You can but I seriously doubt action will be taken. My local mall also has one of these unattended play areas with posted rules that are regularly broken

skfinkel's avatar

The minute someone is seriously hurt, the place will be shut down.

May2689's avatar

Write the letter and prevent someone from getting hurt. They may not close the playground. Maybe after you write the letter, security will be enforced. You should definetly do it.

Darwin's avatar

And if they close the play space where large kids run riot over small kids and stupid parents simply leave their children unattended, how is this a bad thing? Would it be better to wait until someone is hurt, molested or abducted?

Skip writing another letter to the mall. Instead, write a letter to the local paper or to whatever TV station has the most crusading reporters. Or both.

jca's avatar

what disappointed me about the first letter (which i just pulled out a copy of and was written over three months ago was that they did not reply nor did they take my suggestion(suggestion was post someone to make sure every kid is accompanied, height maximum, everyone behaves) NOR did they reply. If they did one or the other (reply or take the suggestion) i would have been happy. Even if they replied and said we decided we don’t need that it would have shown that at least they read it and they care. i will probably write a letter and cc it to someone and post fluther about the results. thanks guys. don’t end now with answering the question if you don’t want…..

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