All Crawley adventure playgrounds closed after child is seriously hurt

obby 12/9 crawley borough council logo ENGSUS00120130608152605
obby 12/9 crawley borough council logo ENGSUS00120130608152605

All four adventure playgrounds in Crawley have been closed for inspection after a nine-year-old boy was seriously injured at Cherry Lane, Langley Green.

Crawley Borough Council, which runs the playgrounds, confirmed the child was hit on the head by a piece of a wooden pole from the swing on which he was playing.

A spokesman for the South East Coast Ambulance Service said paramedics were called to the playground at around 12.50pm on Tuesday (April 8) before the boy was airlifted to St George’s Hospital, London, suffering a serious head injury.

A council spokesman said: “We are sorry about the accident and we have passed on our thoughts to the boy and his family; we wish him a full recovery and are available to speak with them whenever they are ready.

“All four adventure playgrounds, Cherry Lane in Langley Green, Waterlea in Furnace Green, Millpond in Bewbush and Creasys Drive in Broadfield, are closed to open access play while we assess all items of equipment.”

The spokesman added that, as a precautionary measure, all equipment similar to that which injured the child, would be removed from the adventure playgrounds.

He said: “We will also begin a general condition survey of every piece of wooden play equipment across all four playgrounds shortly, regardless of how they are constructed. This will include testing the timbers and ground conditions.

“We carry out a visual daily check of all our adventure playground equipment which is also recorded; our trained team of maintenance inspectors carry out checks every three months and the Royal Society of the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) checks the play equipment annually.

“RoSPA had carried out their checks at Cherry Lane Adventure Playground nine weeks ago and deemed the equipment as low-risk and safe to use.

“We will continue to work with Sussex Police to assist them with their investigation and establish exactly what happened.”

A spokesman for the Health and Safety Executive said officers had carried out an initial inspection and were making initial inquiries into the incident.

When asked how long the inquiries would take, he added: “It’s very much a ‘how long is a piece of string’ question. It could take weeks or it could take months.”