Parks warned about hidden razor blades after toddler hurt in East Moline

Parks are warned about hidden razor blades after a toddler was injured by blades on play equipment last week at an East Moline park.
April 4, 2014 6:58:59 AM PDT
Warmer temperatures will certainly mean that more parents and children will be out at neighborhood playgrounds. But adults may want to take an extra look at all the equipment after razor blades were glued to playground equipment in East Moline in western Illinois.

Madden Jenks is a playful 2-year-old. He was on his dad's shoulders at an East Moline park last week when he reached for the monkey bars.

"He said, 'Ouch.' Jayson put him down because he thought maybe the coldness of bars or something, he put him down, and then he started bleeding," said Sally Jenks, boy's mother. The toddler cut his finger on a blade.

"We looked and they were everywhere. The razor blades were everywhere," said Jenks.

On the monkey bars and rock-climbing wall there were more than a dozen razor blades.

Illinois State Police have now disseminated public safety information about this case to schools statewide. Park districts are also taking note. The Glen Ellyn Park District has spread the word about the razor blades to workers who regularly check 23 playgrounds. And the superintendent offers this advice to adults.

"Make sure staff is aware of it. Just do a quick visual inspection, make sure the slides are okay, check the swings, things like that, just take a quick peek," said Dan Hopkins, superintendent of parks, Glen Ellyn Park District.

Chicago's Park District, along with suburbs like Naperville and Aurora, are also aware of the Moline case, and a second case just outside Philadelphia on Tuesday.

In DuPage County Thursday night, there was strong reaction from families shopping at a baby retail store.

"It's definitely a little disturbing as an expectant mother, you want to make sure the area your kids play in is safe," said Amy Brown.

"With this kind of incident, there is no place, really a safe place in this world now," said Ray Bernardo.

In the Glen Ellyn Park District, workers aren't the only ones checking playgrounds. The district also has an Adopt-A-Park program. Those volunteers generally look for trash and vandalism, but now they'll be looking for a more sinister danger.


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