Toddler slices hand at Kids Fun Factory in Dartmouth
The business's owner says someone vandalized the fan just moments before the 2-year-old was hurt
A Nova Scotia toddler is recovering from hand injuries following a visit to a children's indoor playground in Dartmouth on Friday afternoon.
Deanna Collins says a group was celebrating her daughter's second birthday when her friend's two-year-old boy sliced his hand on an exposed fan shortly after arriving at the Kids Fun Factory.
The toddler was playing in an enclosed space where there were fans set up in corners, blowing out air to push around balloons.
Collins says she was in the doorway supervising when the little boy started to cry.
"He was holding up his hand and blood was just running down his fingers, down his hand, down his arm, it was all over the floor of the structure," she said.
Collins's husband is a surgical nurse and he and another pediatric nurse treated the little boy in a back office while they waited for medical help to arrive, she says.
Stitches and multiple cuts
The toddler was taken to the IWK where Collins says the boy's mother told her he was sedated, received two stitches and was bandaged.
"It's damaged in other places, there's multiple cuts on his fingers and palms. His skin has been worn away and blistered," she said.
"It sounds like there's going to be a bit of a road to recovery. He'll have to go back to hospital several times to be checked up."
Collins's Facebook post about the incident has been shared about 2,300 times.
She says the openings leading to two of the four fans' blades in the room's boxes weren't covered at all. The two that were covered, she says, only had a piece of plastic mesh as a guard.
"The mesh was very poorly applied," she said. "It was loosely hanging on, staples were used to apply it. It didn't look like there was any additional gluing or anything like that. To me it was really inadequate considering the ramifications of what would happen should it come off."
One of the owners of the Kids Fun Factory told CBC News staff fixed the problem and the blowers and balloons were removed from the area, which remains open.
"We really really apologize for the little buddy and his family. We're really really sorry about it," said Michael Talesnik, adding he has five children of his own.
Owner says vandalism occurred
He said he believes an adult removed pieces of mesh that were in place to cover the fans moments before the boy's injury. He said that adult then left the business and staff didn't realize what happened until it was too late.
"Unfortunately we can't do nothing with a vandalism act. Our staff recently checked all the facility," he said.
A government health and safety officer examined the facility Saturday morning. A spokesman for the Department of Labour says the investigation is ongoing and the business voluntarily took out the piece of equipment related to a complaint.
The business was open Saturday afternoon.
He says the Fun Factory has contacted a private safety officer for a consultation about if there are other areas where safety can be improved to protect customers and he says they plan to consult with a lawyer about comments made about the business on Facebook following Friday's incident.
"We'll try to do more to prevent a situation like that," he said. "We try to run our business …. just bring fun to our kids."
Even so, Collins says the incident raises safety concerns.
"They walked away lucky but no family should have to go through this, no two-year-old should ever have to experience the kind of pain he did yesterday when he was brought somewhere to have fun and play," she said.
With files from Richard Woodbury and Elizabeth McMillan