Second, what kind of masty germs are in there? These kids were all in there bare foot. I know you have to take off your shoes but they didn't even have on socks! Not to mention the snot and spit or even vomit in them! Bleck! The thought of it makes me queasy! I can remember going to Chuck-e-cheese as a kid and playing in the ball pit. But it was supervised and relatively clean inside.
It looked like there was a play group there when we were. The kids ran in and out of the play area barefoot screaming and throwing things. It was nuts!
Our local playplace no longer has a ball pit. I think too many kids climbed on the outside of it and caused problems.
Children are required to remove their shoes and wear socks inside the equipment. Socks are available to purchase for $1 at the counter. If I see kids without socks in there, I tell an employee or point out the sign to their parents. If there are children running around your McDonalds without socks, a call to your local health department is in order.
I thought the needle/syringe thing was an urban myth. :
I heard a story (in New York) that a little girl was poked by a hypodermic needle in a Mc Donald's ball pit. The girl died because the needle still had heroin in it.
It may be just a rumor, but it's a chance I'm not willing to take.
I do let my daughter play at the PlayLand at the other McDonald's near us (no ball pit at this one, just tunnels and slides).
BUT, they can be gross, but what playground (especially indoors) isn't?
When DD was small we used to take her to the indoor one occasionally. While the adults complained about kids who are "too big" to be in there, I just went to the big kids, said "Hey, I have a little one in here nad you guys are too rough. Please stop now and/or get out, ok?" Never failed.
Finally, the place turned DD into an evil child so she has not been taken back for over a year...
We go to one, but I HATE to, but ds likes it, and as a SAHM in desperate need of a playgroup (don't have one) and a ds in even greater desperate need of one, this is one of the only social outlets we have during the winter. But it's gross, and we always head to the bathroom to wash hands in hot, soapy water before going home.
DS is almost 4 and still won't even dream of going up in the tunnels without me, so it's mainly the toddler slide he plays on and the balls - gross, I know!
I have never taken dd to one, as we dont go to McDonalds to eat, but I know the babysitter occasionally takes the kids there to play when it is bitter cold and they need a field trip. The McDonalds they go to is much cleaner and nicer than the indoor playground in town according to the mamas I know who go to both places. So, I wouldnt jump in and knock McDonalds and call their playgrounds gross, cos I think it depends on the location. I wouldnt want ppl to base their opinions on an urban legend about a syringe in a ball pit, or to assume that people who take their kids to playlands are somehow not thinking straight, either. I have been to many a McDonalds in my lifetime, mainly the ones along major highways, and I've noticed that some of the restaraunts are are vile, and others not. That said, I wouldnt be suprised if some kid peed in a ball pit, at McDonalds. or anywhere else. If there are no parents supervising the kids, things can turn into a free for all, and I'd be very wary of letting my tiny girl play w.o. me right there under those circumstances.
It really really depends on where and when you go. Burger King has HUGE play places that are very very tall and the signs actually say "5-12 yrs old" on them. McDs varies with the older places looking pretty rough and the newer ones having three levels plus a toddler area. All have signs saying "3-12 yrs old, 48" max hieght" on them. All have no shoes require socks too. It really varies where the rules are followed.
Some of them ARE really clean!! In fact it seemed to me the more touristy the location the cleaner they were? : Only guess is greater turnaround so more frequent cleaning needed. And I too found that if you just get in the face of an out of control older kid and ask nicely for them to calm down 9 of 10 are really really good about it. In fact I cant think of how many times I saw the littler kids getting scared at the top or lost in the maze and a complete stranger kid going up to calm down and bring them back. Very nice kids are everywhere if you look!!
I actually like Mc Donald's better than Chuck E Cheese because at McDs the parents MUST be in the room [and therefore in ear/eye shot of their kids] where as this is not true at CECs. Also I have noticed in the last year that all of them have taken out the ball pits for what ever reason. In my 4 state 5 week travels I did not see one ball pit anywhere actually.
Ds and dd are no longer allowed to play in those Play Places. I loathed them from the start, but dh talked me into letting them play. So, I did. And, they loved them. They are a ton of fun, and the kids could always hold their own among the other 'ruffians'. Plus dh told me not to be a pansy mother, and let the kids be kids.
I put my foot down, finally, last summer. We were in a Chuckie Cheese, and when we came out, two hours later, ds, dd, and the two friends they'd gone their with had weird fevers for five days. The fever would flare up to around midnight, and last till 5 a.m. I was a raving lunatic from not sleeping since ds does not sleep when he is sick.
That ended the trips to the play places.
The ball pools are just foul. I could see the germs leaping from ball to ball. And the slides are so dangerous. Yuck. Everything about them is so icky. Stale air, dirty slides, sick kids, diseased ball pools.
Again, just thinking about it, I'm cringing.
And that hypodermic needle story--urban legend or not, I half believe it. Ewwwwww.
The truest answer to violence is love. The truest answer to death is life. The only prevention for violence is for the heart to have no violence within it. We cannot prevent evil through any system devised by mankind. But we can grapple with evil and defeat it, but only with love—real love.
Julia has been to Chuck E Cheese once but she was too little for the big slide so she went on the moving rides and a little toddler slide that she loved. We also take her to a Mr. Rogers play area and a merry go round.
Anyway, I probably will let her play in the play area someday if she wants to. I am a little worried but I agree about the washing hands thing. T One thing that annoys me about play areas is how parents think they don't have any responsibility there. I don't mean they need to follow their child around. But here's an example...my job at Mcdonald's was to clean, get food, help kids who got stuck at the top of the slide and stop kids from fighting. One mother actually told the manager that "The playplace girl isn't watching my kid well enough." Excuse me? Mcdonald's does not equal daycare center. I could go on but I'll shut up now.
|"The playplace girl isn't watching my kid well enough." Excuse me? Mcdonald's does not equal daycare center. I could go on but I'll shut up now.|
I feel for parents who live where it is cold and need some place indoors for thier kids to play in the winter time. I think what's needed are better options. Junk food and disgusting play equipment. Yuck.
The county parks system where I live has two different, two-story indoor playgrounds. The one we go to has a small ball pit, tunnels, slides and themed rooms with huge building blocks, barrel "horses" with real saddles, a playstore, and other creative playthings. It costs $2/kid to play for the day. It's clean (they don't allow food or drink), the tunnels are big enough for a pregnant mom to crawl through, it's wheelchair accessible, and the kids are always nice enough. Plus the same facility has a free indoor nature exibit featuring a stream, a cave and the local wildlife rehabilitation program. Parking is $3. for the year.
Check out your local offerings, mamas. Maybe there is something better in your area. Many of the mamas around here play at Chuck E's just because they don't know there are alternatives.
That said, I do think ball pits are nasty and germ-filled; my babe is not going to be playing in them...
We used to take our son to the indoor playground at the mall. Then we joined the Y. Now ds plays in the supervised nursery while we work out. We're SO glad to get away from the playground craziness!
Just was wondering why you quoted me and if was because of what I said. I wasn't trying to sound like I wasn't willing to help parents. I'm snowed in with Julia and I would love to escape and have someone help me watch her. Just wondering if you were quoting me cause you think what I said was mean or what the lady said was mean?:
joe loves chuck e cheese & i'm not ashamed to admit it! (ok, maybe i'm a little ashamed!) if the play area, be it chuck or mcd's or bk, looks nasty, we don't go in. and i have had to go with him if there are big kids, the sound of loud stomping or yelling in the tunnels scares him. but otoh, i actually like to follow him around. many little 8 yo's have tried to push ME out of the way!
the chuck e cheese in altoona pa is very nice.
she was probably amazed, as i am, that *any* parent would have the gall to *complain* that the "playplace girl" wasn't watching her kid! what parental laziness is that?
my mil was at a playplace and found a 3 yo crying "mama" over and over. my mil gently picked him up--he cuddled right against her--wiped his tears and nose, and then went throughout the restaurant helping him find mama.
mama comes up about 10 minutes later a(just as mil was at counter asking for a phone to call cops) and says to the boy, in a nasty tone, "I told you to stay in the playplace while we were in the bathroom!" She was carrying a small baby.
She started to say more to the 3 yo and reached for him, but my mil held tight. MIL said, "How dare you leave a little boy alone here? He's been crying for 10 minutes for you! And how dare you chastise him? YOU are the parent, and he's the child."
The mom sputtered something about needing to change the baby and mil said, in a softer voice, "It's hard. i know. i had three under five years old at one time. but you *never* leave them alone like that. if i ever see him alone in here again, i'll call the police and dcs immediately."
mil handed over the boy reluctantly, and the mom left.
an employee came up to mil and said, "thank you for saying something. last week he was wandering in the parking lot before she finally came out of the bathroom."
i've been in playplaces where parents dump off the 10 and 8 yo and come back an hour later. luvky me, i get to run interference for my 4 yo...
It seems to me that in no matter what you do, you will run into germs regardless of activity. Go walking threw the woods, swimming in a public pool. Just be careful not to be over protective and deprive your child of fun activities. For the most part, I’d assume the Play Place is just as safe much anything else. But use your own opinion on it. Mine is, it isn’t that big a deal, Though…if there were a lot of older children running around, pushing kids over- I’de wait it out till they were gone.
I saw ADULTS in one of those one day. I told them to get out and that it was dangerous. They ignored me and acted as though they did not know what I was saying.
I talked to the manager who acted as though he did not know what I was saying and told me he did not think there was a problem. He told me to mind my own business.
I also think even under the best of circumstances, these things may be dirty, since children w/ diapers and bare feet climb in there. ( and apparently adults, also) They are not cleaned on any regular basis.
Outdoor playground equipment is at least washed by sprinklers, rain, and sunlight. These are not.
They are an accident waiting to happen. Stay tuned.
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Just my two cents....
We don't do McD's anymore since they have animal products in almost all their food, even the fries. We go to Burger King like once a month and their play area is much cleaner.