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Australian indoor play standard set for autumn release

Australian indoor play standard set for autumn release
January 20, 2012

A draft of a new Australian/New Zealand standard for the design, construction and management of indoor/contained play facilties is set to be released for public and industry comment.

After several years of development, the standard is currently being reviewed and endorsed by Standards Australia's ME-051 Technical Committee prior to release.

The Australian Amusement, Leisure and Recreation Association (AALARA) has led the development of this standard with the sub committee undertaking the work being led by play and engineering expert Dr David Eager, Associate Professor of the Australian Playground Safety Institute, Faculty of Engineering, University of Technology, Sydney.

The need for national standards in indoor play has been highlighted by an article 'Bad parents leaving kids unsupervised at play centres' published in Melbourne's Herald Sun newspaper this week.

The article highlights incidents at play centres in Melbourne were parents try to dump children unsupervised at indoor play centres while they go shopping, or to avoid soaring day care costs.

Quoting an employee of the Monkey Mania play centre as suggesting that "one in five parents try to sneak off", the Herald Sun article cites examples of Police and the Department of Human Services being called in by at least four centres because children were left alone for several hours.

Specific examples included:

• Police being called after three children were found without a guardian at a Frankston centre;
• Parents leaving children alone for more than four hours at Kidzmania Indoor Playcentre and Cafe in Footscray;
• Centres saying that they had to monitor entries and exits to stop parents leaving without children; and
• Parents also skipping out on creches at pools and gyms that were meant to care for children while parents used the amenities.

Image: Go Bananas, Joondalup, Western Australia.


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