McDonalds Play Areas - One Big Petri Dish? - U2 Feedback

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Old 09-08-2003, 10:27 AM   #1
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McDonalds Play Areas - One Big Petri Dish?

Just thought I would share some experiences with you regarding the play areas at MceeDees for those of you that have little ones. About a year ago my wife, I , and our 2 boys were at the play area and there was a couple with a little one in a high chair next to us. All of a sudden the little one vomits. The parents went and got some napkins and wiped it up then put the high chair back. That's it, just wiped it with napkins. They never got the manager to come in with a mop or disenfectant or anything. Then the worst part. They put the kid in the play tubes to go play. What is wrong with some parents? Bad enough they bring the kid out to eat when they're sick, but to actually put them into the play area right aftr they vomit? And what about the high chair that some other kid would sit in after that? I told the manager on our way out. Needless to say we avoided the play areas for about 6 months, only going to the mceedees that didn't have play areas. So, after 6 months we figured we would try again, this time only allowing the kids to go play AFTER they ate. Well, sure enough it happened again. Some kid vomits and the parent let's him go in the play things. So we couldn't let our kids go play even after they ate. Are some parents that irresponsible?
Does mceedees actually clean and disenfect the play areas? This should be a serious board of health issue if they don't. And I guess it's not just mceedees. We went to Chuckee Cheeses once and a day or 2 later my youngest one ended up with the rotavirus and spent 3 days in the hospital from severe dehydration. Even before all of this I took them to a childrens museum and one of them begain vomitting later that day. We now make sure we never let the kids eat while thay play and to wash their hands with germ x or something when we leave. That is when we go to these kind of places, which isn't very often anymore. Anyone have any similair experiences?
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Old 09-08-2003, 10:39 AM   #2
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McDonald's only cleans their play areas thoroughly (ie. wiping everything down with disinfectant, cleaning thoroughly) about once a week at the most. Every day they sweep the floor and pick up garbage and crap, but they don't tend to clean off the equipment unless it's obviously extremely dirty. I know: I used to work there.

It's no problem with the Health Boards because they are technically cleaned daily (the sweep and garbage pickup) so according to the BoH's, they're clean.

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Old 09-08-2003, 11:09 AM   #3
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But didn't most of us grow up in the same conditions?
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Old 09-08-2003, 11:21 AM   #4
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Or worse. We have a generation of living adults who grew up without seat belts, for example.
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Old 09-08-2003, 11:30 AM   #5
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Yeah I used to stand up in the passenger seat when I was young, for some reason it was acceptable.

I think kids in general are breeding grounds for germs.
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Old 09-08-2003, 12:59 PM   #6
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The vomit thing is disgusting, but you are doing your child a world of ill by disinfecting his environment. It is NOT healthy for children to live in a sterile world and these antibacterial soaps and lotions we have are just plain bad ideas.

For example, the rise of allergies in the western world is tentatively being blamed on our sterile environments. Believe it or not, there is a benefit to your kid playing in dirt. It boosts their immune systems early on.
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Old 09-08-2003, 01:24 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by anitram
The vomit thing is disgusting, but you are doing your child a world of ill by disinfecting his environment.
I have to disagree a bit on that. If you saw my youngest one ( 4 at the time) the first night he got sick before we took him into the hospital you would want to disinfect his environment too. The sunken eyes, lethargic, etc;. That was heartwrenching. The main point here was not the fact that kids are breeding grounds for germs, which I do agree, but rather the fact that "the parents will allow their kids to go into these play areas immiediatly after vomitting".
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Old 09-08-2003, 02:55 PM   #8
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The vomiting is disgusting and no, I wouldn't let my kid play in there either.

But this is separate from the fact that living in a sterile environment is not conducive to a healthy immune system. There is loads of research on this. They should clean up the vomit, but that antibacterial stuff is not only ineffective, it is also dangerous as it kills the commensal bacteria that is found on the body's skin and plays a role in the body's defense system.
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Old 09-08-2003, 05:48 PM   #9
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All public play areas are contagion zones. You've got to make sure your kids wash their hands as soon as they're done playing. And hope they haven't stuck a finger in their eye, nose or mouth while they were there.
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Old 09-08-2003, 05:52 PM   #10
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ZOOTB: How odd...my husband and I have been calling those play areas--especially the ones inside the big glass atriums--petri dishes for years. We don't have kids, but I have a young niece and, as a family, we make sure she gets dirty, etc. b/c, like anitram says, it is NOT good for kids to live in sterile environments. However, I DO think that McDonald's and Burger King and Chuckies, etc. should do more to disinfect those areas. Preschoolers playing at recess on the monkeybars and swings is one thing (How long do those germs live outside on metal?)--playing in those nasty "ball pools" might be something else (how long do germs live inside on plastic?).

What's amazing though is that we come in contact with more germs than we think we do (um, money anyone?) and don't get sick. It just takes that one freak encounter, like your kids had, to make us wary and realize what we touch all day!

Off the freeway a bit: Read "Nickle and Dimed" and was amazed (!!) at the section in which the author worked at one of those Merry Maid places. They didn't disinfect anything--and they weren't allowed to use water. Pretty much, they used the same rags on the toilet as on your countertops.

I guess our idea of "clean" and the health department's idea aren't even in the same ballpark.

It wouldn't take much, though, to make a big stink over this, especially with a comapny that relies on the happy meal crowd like McD's.
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Old 09-09-2003, 02:57 PM   #11
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I used to work at a place called Discovery Zone, which was sort of a like a huge mcdonalds play land. Once I found a kid in the ball bin covered completely in Chicken Pox.

When I reamed out the parents they said "But it's good for your kids to get chicken pox when they are younger so they don't have to suffer when they are older".

Even if you believe that, shouldn't the ind. parents get to make that decision. I was furious.
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Old 09-09-2003, 03:17 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by spinninghead77
When I reamed out the parents they said "But it's good for your kids to get chicken pox when they are younger so they don't have to suffer when they are older".

Even if you believe that, shouldn't the ind. parents get to make that decision. I was furious.
Take it from someone who got them as an adult it is much worse, but what the is wrong with these parents? You have no right to consciously make the decision to infect those around you.
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Old 09-09-2003, 03:24 PM   #13
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I've seen similar instances in our area. There are two groups of people. Those who are concerned how their activities may impact others and those who don't give a damn.
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Old 09-09-2003, 03:34 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by nbcrusader
I've seen similar instances in our area. There are two groups of people. Those who are concerned how their activities may impact others and those who don't give a damn.
Yeah I'm afraid these people may be everywhere and unfortunately these people are breeding in vast quantities.
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Old 09-09-2003, 03:36 PM   #15
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If any of these kids had walked into our library last year I would have caught the infection myself. I went through some heavy duty stress that screwed up my immune system and got every illness in town for something like four months. It really is a matter of caring if you hurt somebody--or don't.
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