Shopping centre under fire for 'dangerous playground'

The playground at Waverley Gardens Shopping Centre, which parents say is too dangerous.
The playground at Waverley Gardens Shopping Centre, which parents say is too dangerous. Photo: Waverley Gardens Shopping Centre/Facebook

A new shopping centre playground has been labelled dangerous, with parents claiming children have been seriously injured while playing there. 

One mum says her young daughter broke her wrist at the recently-completed Waverley Gardens Shopping Centre playground.

The claims come after the space was spruiked on social media as a fabulous new "all ages" playground.

Posting to Facebook, the Melbourne centre promoted the new playground as being suitable for young babies and pre-teens as old as 12.

"We want your little ones to have the best time, so we designed our new playground to be inclusive for all ages. We have the soft play area for babies 0 to 3 years old and climbing play for 3 to 12-year-olds," the post read.

The backlash was swift, with one of the key issues being that there is no ladder to reach the slide, only ropes to climb across to get there. For toddlers, the access is completely unsuitable, claimed many of the 100 commenters.

Reports flooded in about injuries and distressed children, with one girl allegedly sustaining a broken wrist, others suffering cuts and abrasions and small children being knocked over by larger children in the soft play area. 

 
Parents and grandparents complained of not being able to get inside the "chicken coop" to assist children and that the wire lining the enclosure was sharp.
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Photo: Waverley Gardens
Another pointed out that there is "insufficient floor padding" under the ropes area for kids to fall on. Others lamented the loss of the formerly enclosed - and safe - playground where parents could relax without worrying about their toddlers wandering off.
Centre management has responded to the complaints individually and made steps to contact those whose children have been injured.
In response to the safety concerns, the centre stated, "We are in the process of having an additional access point to the bigger slide certified and installed - be sure to keep an eye out for it in the coming months."
The centre has also promised to address the issues in the baby play area.
"We are working on improving the soft play area to suit smaller children, and will be installing some additional interactive elements for this area over the coming months. We appreciate your feedback and will be working to improve our playground as a result of what we are hearing from parents and carers."