It's the Pits
Date Added: Oct. 16, 2001
What has this world come to that children can't play in a ball pit without atrociously written, sensational and unverified rumors ruining all the fun? Ball pits may not be perfect, but this tale of a child who died after playing in one is unsubstantiated.
McDonalds, Chuck E Cheese, Discovery Zone... Some of you might not be parents, but you may have nieces, nephews, grandchildren or friends with children. This will pertain to you too. As I read the following, my heart sank. I urge each and every one of you to pass this on to as many people as you can. I cannot stress how important this is! This is very disturbing news. In addition to the following true story, I will also add that my own sons were playing in the ball pit at Chuckee Cheese one day.
One son lost his watch, and was very upset. We dug and dug in those balls, trying to find the watch.
Instead, we found vomit, food, feces, and other stuff I do not want to discuss. I went to the manager and raised hell. Come to find out, the ball pit is only cleaned out once a month. I have doubts that it is even done that often. My kids will never play in another ball pit. Now read this:
Please read and be very careful with our childern!!!
Be very careful when taking your kids, grandkids, nieces, nephews, etc.to the McDonald's Ball Pit play area. Ask the manager when was the last time they cleaned the play area out. Please read this even if you don't have children and forward it to everybody you can! This is so sad and so terrible!
Hi. My name is Lauren Archer, my son Kevin and I lived in Midland,TN. On October 2nd, 1999 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 whining later on, I asked him what was wrong, he pointed to the back of his pull-up and simply said "Mommy, it hurts." I couldn't find anything wrong with him at that time. I bathed him when we got home, and it was at that point when I found a welt on his left buttock. Upon investigating, it seemed as if there was something like a splinter under the welt. I made an appointment to see the doctor the next day, but soon he started vomiting and shaking, then his eyes rolled back into his head. From there, we went to the emergency room. He died later that night. It turned out that the welt on his buttock was the tip of a hypodermic needle that had broken off inside. The autopsy revealed that Kevin had died from a heroine overdose. The next week, the police removed the balls from the ball pit. There was rotten food, several hypodermic needles: some full, some used; knives, half-eaten candy, diapers, feces, and the stench of urine.
If a child is not safe in a child's play area then where? You can find the article on Kevin Archer in the October 10,1999 issue of the Midland Chronicle.
Please forward this to all loving mothers, fathers and anyone who loves and cares for children!
Don't think it's just McDonald's either or that this is something that just started. When my oldest son who is now 9 was small the area Burger King closed their play area for awhile for "remodeling" because in another town there had been an incident similar to the one described above that happen @ a Burger King. A little boy had been playing in a ball pit & started complaining of his legs hurting. He later died too. He was found to have snake bites all over his legs & buttocks. When they cleaned the ball pit they found that there was a copperhead nest in the ball pit. He had suffered numerous bites from a very posinous snake. I wouldn't let my son play in the ball pit after that. I was lucky even though that wasn't at our Burger King or McDonald's it could have been. I still have my son. Please send this on so that it doesn't happen to someone you know.
Sent it to everyone again received note that 2 did not receive it, to important not to send twice. If you have received it before sorry.
Urban legends like the one about Kevin Archer often describe believable and plausible scenarios. They describe them as events that actually happened to give them more clout and urgency. A story about a child who died from a ball bit injury is far more compelling than a generic warning that alleges the dangers of the play areas. Nothing is worse than a deadly danger lurking behind a symbol of happiness and joy, thus this legend appeals on very fundamental levels.
However, labeling this one a legend isn't the same as saying that fast food ball pits are the cleanest and safest places in the world - afterall, they are designed for and used by children, who aren't exactly the cleanest or most conscientious folks on the planet. But even adults can be careless (even malicious) and use the play areas as a trash can, a hiding spot for incriminating items, emergency restrooms and other undesirable uses. Some of the children who use them aren't always the cleanest creatures on the planet either.
Most businesses with the play areas spot clean them daily, with a more thorough cleaning at least once a week. If you're concerned about your kids' safety, ask the management at your favorite place about their cleaning schedule and take a moment to check it for yourself before letting the kids in. If it doesn't look safe, report it to management. Break this Chain!