GREENSBORO, NC -- LeBauer Park's most popular warm-weather attraction now runs dry, ever since park staff shut down the splash park Saturday due to reports of kids being cut.
It started with a Facebook post Friday night on LeBauer park's page. Leda Johnson wrote that her son cut his foot on the splash pad's metal grates and had to get stitches. Turns out, he wasn't the only one with a splash pad cut.
Johnson's post quickly gained traction, getting dozens of comments and more than 100 shares.
By the next morning, Greensboro Downtown Parks director Rob Overman shut down the pad indefinitely, while park staff investigates.
"Of course, we're always going to get your typical bumps and scrapes... but when I saw it come through on Facebook and saw that we had a number of incidents in a short amount of time, that's when I knew we had to respond and took the measure."
He explained the problem appears to be with the pad's metal grates. "Looks like with our younger visitors six and younger, with the smaller toes and fingers, that's where the concerns lie."
2 Wants To Know learned Atlanta-based Georgia Fountain Company supplied the metal grates. When 2WTK called the company, a representative said the president was out of the office for the day and would return the message when he returned.
2WTK called other city splash pads -- like Keeley Park -- and learned they use plastic drains, not metal grates.
LeBauer staff now plan to add water shoes to the splash pad's rule list, and they want to make sure parents know about the safety measures already in place -- like a red button on a pole near the splash pad. Push it, in the event a child is bleeding or in trouble, and it will cut off water to the fountain.
The park also has a chemical room, where a park attendant checks chlorine levels throughout the day.
But for now, the splash pad runs dry, as park goers wait for a fix.
"I hope they find a way to make the grates safe, because I would love for him (my son) to get to play with it," said park-goer mom Abbey Atwater.
Overman said staff plans to reopen the splash pad, when they find a solution to the issues.
He added, "We recommend parents help us and keep an eye on your child and reduce the amount of horse play that happens in the fountain, and that goes for the entire park."
Meanwhile Johnson, who made initial post about her son, said they, too, hope to go back to the park once the issue is fixed. She said her son is healing from his stitches, and she hasn't decided whether to ask the park to help pay for medical costs.
Overman said the park has a medical compensation plan in place and would work with the park's insurance company to address those requests.
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