It's plain common sense and VERY WISE to carefully check the cleanliness and safety conditions of Ball Pits and ANY areas or equipment children play with, in, or around...

Jeremy Sauter emailed me with links reporting that the following article is a hoax...





Do Your Child(ren) Play in the Ball Pits?

"Hi. My name is Lauren Archer. My son Kevin and I lived in Sugarland, Texas. On October 2, 1994, I took my only son to McDonald's for his 3rd birthday. After he finished lunch, I allowed him to play in the ball pit. When he started crying later, I asked him what was wrong.

He pointed to his back and said, 'Mommy, it hurts.' I looked, but couldn't find anything wrong with him at the time. I bathed him when we got home, and it was at that point that I found a welt on his left buttock.

Upon investigation, it seemed as if there was splinter under the welt. I made a doctor appointment for the next day to have it removed.

In the meantime, he started vomiting and shaking. Then, his eyes rolled back in his Head. We immediately went to the emergency room! My only son died later that night. It turned out that the welt on his buttock was the tip of a hypodermic needle that had broken off in his skin. The autopsy revealed that Kevin had died from a heroine overdose. The next day, the police removed the balls from the ball pit and found rotten food, half-eaten candy, diapers, feces, the stench of urine, and several hypodermic needles."

(If you question the validity of this story, you can find the article on Kevin Archer in the October 10, 1994 issue of the Houston Chronicle.)

Sender of the e-mail alert included....

I will also add that my friend's own sons were playing in the ball pit at Discovery Zone one day.

One son lost his watch, and was very upset. They dug and dug in those balls, trying to find the watch. Instead, they found vomit, food, feces, and other stuff I do not want to discuss. She went to the manager and raised heck.

Come to find out, the ball pit is only cleaned out once a month. Who knows really how often it is done.

Note: Some children have also gotten lice from ball pits...

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