Researcher Mom Calls Attention to Microbes at Fast-Food Playgrounds

fast-food playground safety-585345617_v2.grid-4x2An Arizona child-development professor and mother of four has launched a campaign to get fast-food restaurants to maintain better cleanliness standards in their playground equipment.  The New York Times reports that after her own kids exclaimed “Yuck!” in a local McDonald’s PlayPlace, Erin M. Carr-Jordan visited dozens of restaurant play spaces in 11 states, collecting samples from the equipment surfaces to be analyzed in a lab setting:

What the inspections and lab analyses have revealed is the widespread presence of an array of pathogens, from coliform bacteria to staphylococcus, at levels that experts said indicated that restaurants might not be disinfecting their playlands as diligently as they should.

Those same experts pointed out that germs are everywhere and that they are not always dangerous. They add that hand washing is an important safeguard.

“I’m not shocked or blown out of the water, because this is my business,” said Philip M. Tierno Jr., director of clinical microbiology and immunology at NYU Langone Medical Center in New York, who surveyed some of Dr. Carr-Jordan’s results. At the same time, Dr. Tierno said, “There are very high counts, and that means these places are not cleaned properly or not cleaned at all.”

Carr-Jordan has formed a non-profit organization called Kids Play Safe to call attention to the problem and push for legislation mandating more rigorous cleanliness standards for the playgrounds.

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  1. by Terri Werner

    On September 19, 2011 at 11:11 am

    I hope this is carried out at all establishments that have these kid play areas. It doesn’t take a scientist to know just how many germs are on the slides and other area. You see young ones with wet diapers (probably mixed with poo), saliva, sneezing, sliding down – then your kids comes after them – and of course my grandkids are always wiped down when before they touch food or their eyes – with a a diaper wipe…..THEN they can eat. But you others just run to grab their fries or nuggets – GROCE. Teach them young and they will have hygiene.

  2. [...] DUH this is why I try to avoid any place with a play area… Researcher Mom Calls Attention to Microbes at Fast-Food Playgrounds | Parents News Now, by Holly Leb… __________________ And I hear them saying you'll never change [...]

  3. by Kate

    On September 19, 2011 at 11:49 am

    They need better ventilation in the indoor settings as well… It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know a good portion of these bacteria multiply more rapidly in hot damp places!

  4. by Amy

    On September 19, 2011 at 11:50 am

    @ Werner….your comment started off good but just endly stupidly…tend to your own little ones and dont chastise what everyone else is doing…and its GROSS* not GROCE*

  5. by Teri

    On September 19, 2011 at 12:29 pm

    This is a great movement that all mom’s of little ones should be involved in. I agree with better ventilation. We don’t ever eat in the play areas because it stinks of dirty feet. Never do I smell anti-bacterial cleaners.

  6. by abbas

    On September 19, 2011 at 12:40 pm

    I do not like eating out. thanks for my god who give very beautiful wife and she love cooking.

  7. by mom of 3 boys

    On September 19, 2011 at 1:18 pm

    Werner- you are crazy!!! first of all a baby wipe dosent kill any germs. even hand sanitizer dosent kill the “poop” germs. you know how they say kills 99.9 % yeah well that .01 % they dont kill is that nasty stuff leaking out of all those other kids diapers. lol. so you are now part of the problem :)

  8. by Karen Yingling

    On September 19, 2011 at 3:20 pm

    I read somewhere that the dirtiest public surface was on an escalator railing….We do not need more legislation that raises costs for businesses. If parents want to expose their children to these germs (and the high calorie, fat filled food) at McDonalds , that is their business and their choice. While I applaud Ms. Jordan for for her efforts in educating parents, the decision on what to do with this information is their decision.

    We can not afford to continue to try and legislate good manners, high moral standards or common sense. It is a waste of money and time and it takes attention and resources away from issues that deeply and profoundly affect the world our children will inherit.

  9. by diane caso

    On September 19, 2011 at 7:59 pm

    Those play yards are SO enticing to little ones…must admit, they will break up a long car drive. Really better off taking along healthy food, and heading to an OUTSIDE playground…of course, hand washing=thorough-with soap, water, and plenty of friction is the way to keep “germ reduced”..

  10. by Mimi

    On September 20, 2011 at 2:14 pm

    I agree with Karen Yingling-> Waste of money-little ones are “germ factories” many parents have the Personal Hygiene of water rats-look around they (Parents)aren’t exactly “diving” to wipe up snot,and/or trim dirty nails,put on proper footwear,etc…,and this from sloppy parents who have enough cash to pile into a ‘Benz Sprinter-after McDonalds, but no common sense to raise kids)Dirty kids play on that equipment-and the poor bastards at Micky D’s have to go & clean in their messy wake?(that should be the parents job) Great,she found out they are dirty(duh)In a word: BULLDOZER ‘EM ALL(playgrounds)-End of Story! Micky D’s doesn’t just cater to kids,anyhow(like ie,Chucky Cheese)!Doesn’t take a Rocket scientist,or the “wait”for the lab results to come back just to tell your kids “keep off the “PUB-A-LICK playground,bench,sandbox(emphasis on PUBLIC)”.