Charlie, six, splits head open in Leeds soft play area fall

Joanne Gillingham with her son Charlie six, who has injured his head after falling from the monkey bars at  Little Bees Play centre in Whinmoor. Picture Tony Johnson
Joanne Gillingham with her son Charlie six, who has injured his head after falling from the monkey bars at Little Bees Play centre in Whinmoor. Picture Tony Johnson
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A mum has spoken of her horror after her son split his head open when he fell from equipment in a soft play area.

Six-year-old Charlie Gillingham was playing on the monkey bars during a friend’s birthday at Little Bees Play centre in Whinmoor when he fell and injured the back of his head. His mum Joanne, 35, who was watching nearby, rushed to his aid and found him covered in blood with a two-inch cut in his scalp. She said the play centre’s staff helped bandage the wound before she took him to A&E where medics glued it shut.

Bosses at the play centre said they have found no faults with the equipment and that it was a ‘freak accident’ but Joanne is unhappy with how they have handled the situation.

She said: “You expect a bump or a bruise but not a laceration to the head from a soft play area. We returned the next day to inspect the area but it’s an absolute mystery how he sustained such an awful injury. It’s right through to this skull.

“He was in an area appropriate for his age and he wasn’t misusing the equipment. Whether it was a freak accident or not it shouldn’t have happened.”

Georgina Allison, manager at Little Bees Play, said: “We have been over the area and there’s nothing is at fault with the equipment as is. It’s just one of those freak accidents where he’s just had an impact on the head. We can’t work out what it was. Everything is padded as it should be.” She said the centre was RoSPA-checked (Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents) but have requested they come and do another check.

Paula Dillon, President of Leeds Chamber Commerce.

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