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SPECIAL REPORT: Playground at Gantry State Park Needs Better Fencing to Prevent Accident or Tragedy

Dangerous fence design at playground permits easy toddler or child escape. It is just a 50 yard dash to the East River

Toddler that climbed and dashed to the East River 50 yards from Play Ground at Gantry State Park


Photo shows easy way for a toddler or small child to climb up and out of the playground.






Long Island City, New York October 16, 2011 -

Parents and nannies need to be extremely careful.

Every parent knows that a toddler or young child  can run out of sight in a split second. We all like to think it can't happen...but it does.  Every day we read tragic stories in the newspaper....."I just took my eyes off her for a second."

People who design playgrounds for toddlers and small children know this too.

On October 15th, a parent told a story about the worst few seconds of her life.  Her beautiful toddler daughter had escaped the children's playground at Gantry State Park and made a short fifty yard dash to the East River.

It seemed impossible to believe....until we looked.

The photographs with this page show a poorly designed playground area that has low fencing...going the wrong way...and benching attached to a concrete wall.  This creates a "ladder effect" that makes it easy for a child, or even a toddler, to escape in an instant. 

Making it worse, the same design is used around the entire perimeter of the playground. This means that the "Ladder Effect" is available to a child within a few steps of any spot in the playground.

At another location near the entrance, the land has actually been elevated by about four feet so that there is no real wall, just a ladder of four railings to climb.

The children in the playground at Gantry State Park have an array of climbing equipment. They are climbers. That is what attracts them and their parents to this playground.

The East River is a short distance away, making it even more alluring and more dangerous for children.

The photos also show a NYC playground at 21st Street and 45th Rd in Long Island City with a better design for benches and fences.

This situation at NYS Gantry Park Playground demands immediate attention to prevent an accident or a tragedy.

Signs are not enough. 

In the meantime, NYS needs to put safety precautions in place until the poorly designed security is fixed.  It should consider assigning people to monitor all areas of the wall. Time is of the essence.  It only takes and instant...and this can easily happen at any time, on any day.

We assume that this could not happen if there were laws governing the design of playgrounds for children safety and security. We are confident that NYS legislators will correct this and pass appropriate legislation so that children are not in dangerous situations because of negligent contractor or architectural design.

Click the photographs below for a larger view.


Toddler that climbed and dashed to the East River 50 yards from Play Ground at Gantry State Park
Photo shows easy way for a toddler or small child to climb up and out of the playground.
Photo show inside and outside of wall surrounding the play ground. The same ladder is on both sides.
Another area of the play ground has an equally bad design showing a similar ladder. The ground has actually been elevate to make it easier,.
This mom is sitting in a different playground, checking her handheld device for messages.

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Last Updated: Thursday, December 12, 2013 - 2:50 p.m. Eastern Time
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