Fury as scorching playground equipment burns toddler

Riley Shreeves with his injuries
Riley Shreeves with his injuries

A toddler has been left in agony after getting burned by a piece of playground equipment which heated up in sizzling summer conditions.

One-year-old Riley Doherty was enjoying the weather at the Parson’s Close Rec playground in Leighton Buzzard on Friday, before falling onto ramp which leads to a zipwire.

Riley Shreeves with his injuries

Riley Shreeves with his injuries

The sheet metal ramp scorched the infant’s legs and right hand, leaving him howling in pain.

Like most of the region, Leighton Buzzard enjoyed sweltering conditions on Friday, as temperatures soared to more than 25c.

Riley’s mother Claire, from Wrens Park, Middleton, said: “He tried to get up again and put more pressure on it so I ran him over to the bench.

“As you can imagine he was hysterical, he was in so much pain he couldn’t control what he was doing.”

Riley was clambering up this ramp on his way to the playground's zipwire

Riley was clambering up this ramp on his way to the playground's zipwire

Claire rushed her son to her GP surgery but an hour after being given Calpol he continued to cry from the pain, so was taken to A&E.

She added: “The hospital were really quite shocked that the GPs hadn’t done anything.

“The doctor [at the hospital] wrapped him up in clingfilm and gave him a morphine-like drug that sent him to sleep.

“They had to burst the blisters that had already formed.”

Parsons Close Recreation Ground, Leighton Buzzard

Parsons Close Recreation Ground, Leighton Buzzard

Riley’s burns were dressed after being cleaned by doctors and he remains bandaged up.

Claire, 27, said the full extent of her son’s injuries are not yet known.

She said: “They aren’t 100% sure on the damage done as burns grow in length and depth over time.

“I’m just really quite shocked seeing my little boy in so much pain, he couldn’t breathe properly because he was crying so hard.

“While Riley slept I did nothing but cry and say it was all my fault as I couldn’t get there quick enough.

“Why should I blame myself when the people who fit these materials know exactly how hot they get?

“I know for a fact there are materials out there that are more suitable for children’s play areas and won’t cause such a nasty injury to a child or even an adult.

“A lot of mums and dad in Leighton Buzzard and further beyond agree with me that something needs to be done as soon as possible.”

Following the incident Claire has set up a petition to get Leighton-Linslade Town Council and Central Beds Council to look at the materials used in the playground.

At the time of going to press it had gained more than 850 signatories.

A Leighton-Linslade Town Council spokesman said that it has launched a probe into the incident.

He said: “The investigation will carefully examine the circumstances that led to the incident and we will be working closely with our insurance company as well as the manufacturer of the play equipment and RoSPA, to establish what happened and how best to proceed in light of the accident.

“The town council would like to reassure parents and carers that all our play equipment is inspected by our qualified staff as well as independent examiners on a regular basis and continues to be found fit for purpose.”