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2 Investigators: Play Center More Like A Danger Zone, Injured Boy’s Mom Says

(CBS) — The family of a young boy says he has a permanent arm injury, and they blame a popular indoor amusement place.

2 Investigator Dave Savini investigates how children play at their own risk.

Michael Galasso was four when he shattered his elbow and arm on a 22-foot-high inflatable fire truck slide.

“I’ve never seen him cry the way he cried,” says the boy’s mother, Cara Galasso.

It happened at Jump Zone in Bolingbrook, an indoor facility with inflatable slides and play areas.

Galasso says her son’s arm is disfigured and the 7-year-old faces nerve damage as he ages.

“When we got him off the slide he was a white as a ghost, sweating,” the mother says. “I think he was in shock. His arm was just dangling.”

She says the boy was allowed on the slide even though the manufacturer’s warning says children must meet a 42-inch height requirement. Michael was four inches shorter than that requirement.

Illinois Department of Labor inspection records from 2013, six months prior to Michael Galasso’s injury, say a trained attendant must be at this slide.

“I don’t remember seeing any staff anywhere on the floor,” Cara Galasso says. “They were all in a back room.”

Bolingbrook staff now have a paper sign taped to the inflatable; it says only children ages 5 to 12 are allowed on the two-story slide.

The 2 Investigators twice visited this Jump Zone and found attendants not monitoring children on the slides or checking heights. The owner says he believes that is the parents’ responsibility. He has even posted signs stating parents assume all risk and liability.

The 2 Investigators found multiple children on inflatable slides at one time. One example: Eight children on an inflatable that was supposed to only have two at a time.

At the Jump Zone in Niles, the 2 Investigators again found no staff monitoring the inflatable attractions.

Nancy Cowles heads up the child-safety watchdog group Kids In Danger.

“The lack of supervision, the lack of adequate staffing, is a clear indication of a problem and something that should be addressed,” Cowles says.

The 2 Investigators also found children wandering near electrical fans and power outlets. They found a ripped, dangling basketball net that could pose a choking hazard.

“A child can get strangled,” Cowles says. “It’s a very real hazard for children.  Anything that can form a loop — you want to make sure is not in an area where they are playing freely.”

Ed Manzke is the Galasso family attorney.

“You can’t police it,” he says. “You can’t make sure kids are using it safely if you don’t have that attendant there.”

The Illinois Department of Labor is now investigating the safety of these Jump Zones. One issue, they say, is parents being put in charge of safety, as attendants, without being given and filling out a state-required form showing they were trained.

The state agency fields complaints online here. Or complainants can call (217) 782-9347.

The Niles location is fixing the choking hazards the 2 Investigators found and examining other safety issues.

Officials from both the Bolingbrook and Niles Jump Zone locations say safety is their number one priority.

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