Slide used at Duluth's Playfront Park recalledA slide at Playfront Park that has been recalled won’t immediately be removed or blocked off, a city official said.
By: John Lundy, Duluth News Tribune
A slide at Playfront Park that has been recalled won’t immediately be removed or blocked off, a city official said.
The Slalom Glider, a twisting, plastic slide produced by Landscape Structures of Delano, Minn., was voluntarily recalled by the company after 16 reports of injuries to children younger than 8, the Consumer Product Safety Commission announced this week.
Landscape Structures equipment can be found on dozens of playgrounds in Duluth, but the slide at Playfront is the only Slalom Glider in a city park, said Tom Kasper, supervisor of street and park maintenance for the city. Kerry Leider, property and risk manager for the Duluth schools, said none of the district’s playgrounds has a Slalom Glider.
Slalom Glider “provides a thrilling ride while promoting balance and coordination,” the company’s website says. Children straddle the slide with their hands and legs as it takes them to the ground from a height of 6¼ feet. The Consumer Product Safety Commission said it lacks a “transition platform” on the top and sides of the chute. It said children can fall when moving from the ladder to the slide and when descending the chute.
The injuries ranged from a bruised arm to fractured arms and legs, one fractured collar bone and one bruised spleen, the commission said. All of the injuries occurred to children younger than 8. The company’s website says the slide is intended for children 8-12, and says it is no longer available in the United States.
Kasper said he hadn’t heard of anyone being injured at the Playfront Park slide, nor had he heard any complaints.
“I’ve heard a lot of happy comments about it, but nothing expressing concern,” Kasper said.
Landscape Structures told Kasper it will offer the city several options to replace the slide at no cost, probably as soon as next week, he said. The company told him it’s not necessary to remove the slide or block access to it in the meantime, he said.
The playground was designed to soften falls, Kasper said.
“We have 12 inches of impact-attenuation material underneath the entire playground structure,” he said. “So even if a child were to fall off of it at some point, we have a sufficient amount of material underneath that part of the structure, as well as the rest of the structure.”
Landscape Structures equipment is used on 38 Duluth city playgrounds, Kasper said. It’s also used on some school playgrounds, including the Lester Park School playground that partially was destroyed in an Oct. 1 arson fire. Volunteers helped install new equipment Oct. 22.
Playfront was installed in May 2010, a project spearheaded by the Junior League of Duluth. It’s maintained by the city.
The recall didn’t cause second thoughts about Landscape Structures, Kasper said.
“We’ve had wonderful success … with structures provided by Landscape Structures,” he said. “I’m looking for structures that last a minimum of 20 years, and we’ve been really pleased with the ongoing life expectancy of our playground structures.”