Hundreds of stainless steel slides installed at schools, parks and public playgrounds are being recalled by federal safety officials, after at least two children lost fingers due to potential manufacturing and design problems.
A Playworld Steel Playground Slides recall was announced by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) on December 7, following at least 13 reports that suggest the welds connecting the stainless steel slide may crack. The problems have resulting in serious injuries for young children, including at least two finger amputations.
According to the CPSC, the Lightning Slide’s weld between the slide bedway and the sidewall can crack and separate, creating a hazardously sharp steel edge that children could accidentally get their fingers caught in and amputated or severely cut.
The bedway of the slide is welded to the two steel sidewall frames continuously from the top to the bottom of the slide. A crack in the weld can occur at any point on the slide without any identifying marks, giving parents or guardians a false sense of security.
Although the recall only includes 1,300 slides, the manufacturing company Playworld reports that these particular slides were sold to parks, schools, and municipalities, installing the slides at playgrounds that are commonly used by many children each day.
Playworld and the CPSC are warning that children should no longer be allowed to use the recalled slides, to prevent exposing additional children to a risk of amputation and laceration injuries.
Due to the slides not bearing any indicating manufacturing information, the CPSC is warning parents and caregivers to be extremely cautious when allowing their children to use metal slides at public or school playgrounds. The slides are stainless steel in color, and could be attached to a playground system or stand alone.
The slides were manufactured in the United States by Playworld Systems Inc., of Lewisburg, Pennsylvania where they were sold to independent distributors, parks, schools and municipalities from November 200 through October 2016 for between $1,500 and $4,000.
The CPSC recommends customers stop using the recalled slides immediately and contact Playworld at 800-233-8404 for a free replacement slide and free installation. While consumers are waiting for the replacement slide to be shipped and installed, Playworld will be shipping a temporary barrier to consumers to prevent children or users from accessing the slide.