Senator Carl Kruger Wants Answers About Safety of Rubber Playground Mats

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kruger.jpgSenator Carl Kruger (D-Brooklyn), Chairman of the Senate’s Social Services, Children and Families Committee, is calling for the formation of an emergency task force to evaluate the safety of the rubber mats used at city playgrounds following a public outcry that the mats’ surfaces can reach temperatures of 166 degrees in hot weather (reported HERE on YWN).

Most recently, a child was burned during Memorial Day weekend at Carl Shultz Park in Manhattan after he jumped down from the playground equipment and landed barefoot on the mat. He required hospitalization to treat his wounds. Last year, another child suffered similar burns at Van Voorhees Park in Cobble Hill.

Sen. Kruger noted that the problem is not a new one. A rash of complaints about dangerously hot mats prompted the City Council to hold hearings on the matter last year – but nothing was ever done to solve the problem, he said, not even posting warning signs alerting adults of the dangers of the scalding mats.

“It is galling that the city knows about this problem and refuses to take action,” Sen. Kruger said. “Pleading ignorance is one thing. Acknowledging that a danger exists to our children, and then ignoring that danger, is another matter entirely, and one that clearly requires intervention before painful injuries become more prevalent.”

Public reports indicate that playground surfaces have reached 166 degrees in the hot weather over the last week or so. According to Park Department Authorities, burns happen easily with any surface temperatures over 140 degrees, Sen. Kruger said.

Sen. Kruger said the emergency task force should spend 90 days conducting an investigation and then come up with a list of recommendations to address the problem. If this timeframe fails to produce results, he said, he will call on his Senate committee to hold its own hearings.

“We can photograph the surface of Mars but we can’t provide a safe surface for our children to play on? I find that very hard to believe,” Sen. Kruger asked.

(YWN Desk – NYC)


6 COMMENTS

  1. why waste money on hearings? they held hearings last year and did nothing and will hold more this year and do nothing. stop holding hearings and do something productive OR next year you will be holding hearings again along with more hearings to find out why hearings do not produce anything except lunch and dinner for the attendees.

  2. An emergency task force to take 90 days to find out what they already know?

    Hearings shmearings. Close those parks down as if they were being run by private enterprises. In such cases, city inspectors would have them closed in one day.

  3. Hello!! The kid was BAREFOOT!! What kind of meshugina mother would let her kids play around on the monkey bars, the swings, or the slides (all metal and MUCH hotter) without shoes or sneakers??!

    That being said, we all grew up with the same mats and although they were a bit on the warm side (I was wearing something on my feet!) they did protect us when falling.

  4. I think the parks dept. has done a great job on our parks and they should open plenty more ,(I’ve always wondered why there are more playgrounds in the non frum areas)the children need them and if people stop complaining and use common sense maybe it will happen ..keep complaining,,and they will close them all down